Deciphering the relationship between bikesharing and public transit: Modal substitution, integration, and complementation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, operations - frequency, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, ridership - modelling, planning - integration


Bikesharing, Modal integration, Modal shift, Public transit, Shared mobility


Public bikesharing systems (PBSs) have witnessed rapid growth in the last decade. Bikesharing has been found to have a mixed relationship with public transit, but such a relationship has not been well quantified. This research uses real bikesharing trip data in four cities that host the largest bikesharing fleets in the U.S. to investigate when, where, and to what extent bikesharing trips substitute, integrate with, and complement public transit, and what factors contribute to the modal integration between bikesharing and public transit. The results show that it is not where the bikesharing trip takes place that predominantly determines its relationship with public transit but rather when the trip happens (weekday or weekend and what time period during the day) and who takes the trip (a subscriber or customer). Regression models show that modal integration is associated with shorter trip duration, higher public transit service frequency, and higher share of subscribers on weekdays. The relatively high share of bikesharing trips that integrate with public transit helps to improve the experience of riding public transit and in the long term, enhances urban mobility and reduces automobile dependency with multiple beneficial societal and environmental effects.


BikesharingModal integrationModal shiftPublic transitShared mobility


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