Mode substitution and carbon emission impacts of electric bike sharing systems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - bike, mode - bus, mode - car, mode - subway/metro, technology - emissions, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, planning - surveys


mode substitution, electric bike-sharing system (EBSS), urban transportation, CO2 emissions


This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the mode substitution and usage-phase carbon emission impacts of the electric bike-sharing system (EBSS) on urban transportation using self-administrated survey data and EBSS operating data. The substitution probabilities of a given EBSS trip for different transport modes is determined using the Bayesian inference method. Emission impact is measured by comparing the current emissions to those generated by other transport modes without the EBSS. Remarkably, the partial-trip substitution impact of the EBSS on car travel is investigated, where the EBSS serves as a connection to public transit. The results show that the EBSS barely generates new trips; most short-distance EBSS trips were transferred from walking and conventional bike-sharing, and most long-distance trips were shifted from cars, buses, and the subway. Around 5% of EBSS trips less than 2 km were transferred from the car by integrating with public transit while accounting for over half of the emission reduction. Based on our method, the CO2 emissions per km of EBSS are 19.47 g, with 6.91 g generated by e-bikes due to electricity consumption and 12.56 g by trucks for battery swapping and bike relocation. The studied EBSS has saved 75.52% of CO2 emissions that other transport modes could have generated.


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


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