Do metro interruptions increase the demand for public rental bicycles? Evidence from Paris


Joris Klingen

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, mode - bike, ridership - demand, policy - sustainable


Public transport, Cycling, Public bicycle systems, Bicycle-sharing, Demand analysis, Transport network resilience


Urban policy makers are increasingly interested in cycling as part of a sustainable and reliable transport network. One of the ways through which cities promote cycling is by providing a public bicycle system (PBS) with electronic docking stations. This paper studies demand for public rental bicycles following local and temporary metro interruptions in Paris. I construct a unique data set by linking metro interruptions announced in Twitter communication by the Parisian metro operator to usage data on the Vélib’ PBS. I find that, as a direct consequence of a metro interruption, the consumption of bicycles within 100 m of metro stations increases by 0.72 bicycles per hour per docking station on average, and with 1.54 bicycles per hour per docking station during the first 20 min; an increase of approximately 11% and 22% respectively. Due to their effects on demand, metro interruptions increase the probability of empty stocks at docking stations with 15%. The findings highlight that cycling is a local net substitute for metro service, and that public rental bicycles can alleviate time losses stemming from interruptions in public transport.


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


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