The last mile matters: Impact of dockless bike-sharing services on traffic congestion

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bike, mode - car, mode - rail, place - asia, place - urban, policy - congestion, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, planning - methods, planning - surveys


dockless bike-sharing services (DBSs), public transit, urban traffic congestion


Despite the popularity and rapid growth of technology-enabled dockless bike-sharing services (DBSs), the critical question of how they affect urban traffic congestion remains unclear. Based on panel data on the daily congestion delay index of 98 major cities in China, this study examines the causal effect of DBS entry on traffic congestion using a staggered difference-difference method. The results show that the congestion delay index decreases by 2.2% on average after DBS entry, and this effect is more significant on weekdays than on weekends and in cities with higher rail transit line densities, longer average commute times, and higher public transit usage. Finally, we also observe that DBS increases the probability of urban residents commuting by public transit, based on a unique large-sample micro-survey dataset. These results indicate that the congestion reduction effects of DBS come primarily from complementing public transit by solving the last-mile problem.


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


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