Sharing riders: How bikesharing impacts bus ridership in New York City

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - bike, planning - integration, ridership - behaviour


Bikesharing, Bus ridership, Difference-in-differences estimator, Natural experiment


The objective of this research is to quantify the impact that bikesharing systems have on bus ridership. We exploit a natural experiment of the phased implementation of a bikesharing system to different areas of New York City. This allows us to use a difference-in-differences identification strategy. We divide bus routes into control and treatment groups based on if they are located in areas that received bikesharing infrastructure or not. We find a significant decrease in bus ridership on treated routes compared to control routes that coincides with the implementation of the bikesharing system in New York City. The results from our preferred model indicate that every thousand bikesharing docks along a bus route is associated with a 2.42% fall in daily unlinked bus trips on routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. A second model that also controls for the expansion of bike lanes during this time suggests that the decrease in bus ridership attributable to bikesharing infrastructure alone may be smaller (a 1.69% fall in daily unlinked bus trips). Although the magnitude of the reduction is a small proportion of total bus trips, these findings indicate that either a large proportion of overall bikeshare members are substituting bikesharing for bus trips or that bikesharing may have impacted the travel behavior of non-members, such as private bicyclists. Understanding how bikesharing and public transit systems are interrelated is vital for planning a mutually reinforcing sustainable transport network.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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