Photo: Cultivate Houston
Bike sharing systems have become increasingly more popular and are showing up in many cities across the United States (e.g. Austin, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Washington DC, etc.). They can be used for short trips to connect the beginnings and ends of transit trips and address the “last mile problem.” They can also be used for recreational purposes by tourists and residents. However, it is unclear how urban and social environment characteristics affect the bike checkouts at different stations as well as the usage of bike sharing systems as a whole. This study aims to fulfill this research gap by investigating the impacts of urban built environment and demographic characteristics on biking checkouts in different checkout stations. The results will help urban planners and government officials evaluate the usage of existing bike sharing stations and help them plan for new bike sharing systems in different cities.