Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Megan S. Ryerson

Committee Members

Christopher Cerry, Lee Han

Abstract

Public bicycle systems, also known as bikeshare systems, are growing rapidly throughout the world, but nowhere more so than in China. At the same time the country’s most rapidly growing mode of private transportation is the electric two wheeler, or e-bike. Despite the popularity of this mode and the similarity to conventional bicycles, there are currently no large scale public e-bike systems. To evaluate the adoption and use of an e-bikeshare system, this study employs a stated preference survey to investigate the factors influencing the choice to use a shared bike or e-bike system. An intercept survey queries 620 respondents in the four main urban districts of Beijing. The survey are entirely stated preference as opposed to the traditional revealed-stated preference hybrids that require estimation or measurement of unobserved factors and are subject to limited variation. The stated preference approach allowed surveyors to test a variety of environmental conditions that did not actually occur during the one month study period. The survey employs a main effects design to test environmental characteristics related to comfort, safety, and speed of travel. Survey data is used to build a multinomial logit choice model. The model indicates that the choice to use the shared bicycle is most sensitive to the respondent’s original mode as well as trip distance and environmental conditions. The choice to use the shared electric bicycle is most influenced by socio-demographic characteristics such as income, education, and gender. The shared e-bike’s insensitivity to distance can make it an attractive alternative to the shared bike. Concerning public transit, it is not clear what the relation with shared bikes will be, but it is clear the shared e-bike is attractive as a bus replacement mode. The study results suggest that a shared bike system in Beijing will mainly draw users from modes with low fuel consumption per passenger and from a variety of demographic groups. A shared e-bike system may be deployed in a focused manner by targeting specific user demographic groups and with specific transportation system goals such as relieving congested bus routes.

Comments

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OISE-1210034.

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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