Bike-sharing systems (BSS) have rapidly been established in many cities worldwide. The benefits that systems potentially provide are increasingly debated with concerns that the BSS may mostly benefit limited groups of citizens. Understanding how, when and by whom these systems are used may help to plan the system to be widely employed and inclusive.
Trip data generated by the BSS are among the more analysed data types in the BSS literature, as they are often readily available for scholarly use. Most often, trip data are used to study the origins and destinations of the trips and their spatial patterns. In this paper, we focus on analysing how well trip data can be used to understand the demographic characteristics and usage profiles of BSS users.
We first analysed the use of BSS trip data in the recent scholarly literature. We then used data from the Helsinki BSS from 2017 (similar to 1.5 million trips) as a case to study the potential of trip data for future BSS studies. The Helsinki BSS, launched in 2016, is considered to have been a success, as it exhibits one of the highest use rates in the world. We aimed to understand how this popular system has served different user groups.
We demonstrate the value of BSS trip data in understanding user characteristics and usage profiles and show that trip data have not yet been fully used for these purposes in the scholarly literature. Even considering its limitations, trip data can provide information that it is important for BSS managers and urban planners when understanding and developing the system inclusiveness. In Helsinki, we show that the BSS use is largely contributed by a limited group of people whose home area and daily travel needs likely align well with the system network. These findings point to challenges in system inclusiveness despite the internationally high use rates.
- 1171 Geotieteet
01/01/2017 → 31/12/2018