How transit service closures influence bikesharing demand; lessons learned from SafeTrack project in Washington, D.C. metropolitan area

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bike, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro, place - north america, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - demand


Transit service disruption, Safe, Track, Bikeshare, Travel behavior, Mode shift, Low-carbon mobility


Transportation disruptions offer opportunities to study how people adapt to using new modes of transportation and have important implications for transportation policy and planning. Bikeshare has emerged as a new popular mode of transportation in recent years as it offers a fast, easy, and reliable way to travel short distances, and for its convenience as a first- and last-mile mode to complement transit. It also offers many social, environmental, and health-related benefits and has the potential to promote low-carbon mobility. This study examines changes in bikeshare ridership due to rail transit closures in the Washington, D.C. area and investigates how promoting bikeshare systems in large metropolitan areas could be beneficial in cases of transit disruptions – regardless of the type, cause, and duration. We use disaggregate trip history data to analyze the impact of three different transit closures in 2016 lasting 7 to 25 days. The objective of this paper is to provide insight on how transit disruptions affect bikeshare use. An autoregressive Poisson time series model is used to estimate effects of transit closures on bikeshare activity. Kernel density estimation is applied to understand spatial changes in ridership from a week before, one year before, and after each closure. Results are compared both temporally and spatially and confirm that transit disruptions were associated with increased bikeshare ridership at the local level. Once the affected Metro stations reopened, bikeshare ridership returned to original levels. We conclude that when within 0.25 mile of a rail station and with a rail station spacing of <3 miles, bikeshare can be used as a mechanism for low-carbon mobility to complement transit.


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


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