How do dockless bikesharing services affect public transit and taxi use? Evidence from 36 central cities in China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bike, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - taxi, mode - bus rapid transit, ridership - behaviour, land use - urban density


dockless bikesharing, bus, rail, taxi, ridership


Despite the rapid growth in the popularity of technology-enabled dockless bikesharing services, comprehensive research on their causal effects on other modes of transportation is still scarce. To fill this gap, this study exploits the staggered entry of Ofo and Mobike into 36 Chinese central cities as a quasi-natural experiment using a difference-in-differences approach to examine the overall impact of dockless bikesharing services on bus, rail, and taxi use. The results show that the entry of dockless bikesharing services significantly reduced city bus ridership by 5.1% and taxi passenger miles by 6.4%, but had no significant impact on rail ridership overall. Further heterogeneity analysis shows that a higher proportion of BRT vehicles can attenuate the negative impact of bikesharing services on bus ridership, while bikesharing seems to promote rail transit use in cities with low population densities and limited rail transit networks. Moreover, the reduction effect of bikesharing services on taxi passenger miles was driven by a decrease in average trip distance, with the unintended consequence of total taxi deadheading increased by 9.7%. This study provides important and valuable references for city governments to better utilize bikesharing services to develop efficient and sustainable urban transportation systems.


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


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