The impact of bike sharing schemes on the modal share of cycling

Increasing the share of active travel is high on the agenda of many cities, in their attempt to decrease the carbon footprint of transport and creating healthier cities.

In this story we take a look at the impact of bicycle sharing schemes on increasing the modal share of cycling, i.e., the proportion of cycling among all the transport options available.

The interactive map below shows a selection of the relevant evidence available in the Urbanixm knowledge engine. The knowledge engine is in a proof-of-concept state of development and more evidence will be added over time.

In the following sections we briefly discuss the available evidence and formulate conclusions but encourage readers to follow links to the original content to get a in-depth understanding of the topic.


It has been argued that seeing more cycles on the streets can encourage more people people to take up cycling, and bike share system can thus be an important catalyst in the process [The Conversation] [Share North].

  • In China, bike sharing systems are credited for up to 10% increase in the modal share of cycling [ITDP].
  • In Washington DC, the bike sharing system is accredited, together with bike lanes, as a driver for a doubling of the modal share of cycling [Streetsblog].

Further reading

For a tailor made analysis of the topic, Börkur Sigurbjörnsson offers data storytelling consultancy services producing detailed reports or presentations.

Author: Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

Börkur Sigurbjörnsson is a data and information scientist who discovers and communicates data-driven insights through storytelling and helps early-stage startups put ideas into action.

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