Thursday, June 25, 2009

Washington Bike-sharing Survey Results Are In

The Washington, D.C. SmartBike program survey results are now complete and the District of Columbia Department of Transportation is kind to share them with The Bike-sharing Blog readers. The SmartBike D.C. program is nearly one year old with its birthday coming up in August. Of the 1,000 or so members of the program, 333 responded to the survey. The SmartBike D.C. program is in its pilot stage with 120 bikes, so these results may not broadly apply to other programs, but the data is interesting nonetheless.

A few points I found particularly interesting:

Question #2: A majority of the respondents use the bikes less than once per week (62%). This is likely due to the lacking availability of stations. With only 10 stations in the pilot program, most of the respondents find their needs not met as station coverage is poor. However, about a third use the bike 1 - 3 times per week (28%).

Question #3: A majority of respondents use the bikes for social purposes (48%) while commuting is the second most common use (41%).

Question #4: Nearly 70% of bike-sharing trips would have been done by foot had the bikes not been available. However, bike-sharing pulled 16% of the respondents away from driving a personal car for their trip and 19% away from a taxi.

Question #7: Trips combining bike-sharing and the subway or bus was low. A smartcard usable on all three systems, like the D.C. region’s SmarTrip card, could improve these numbers. Also, more stations at transit-accessible and non-transit accessible locations could improve this.

Question #8: 60% already own a bike and 40% don't own a bike. This affirms the belief that people with bikes would use the system. Also, with 40% not owning a bike, bike-sharing is creating bike trips that otherwise wouldn't be made.

This first survey of a 3rd generation bike-sharing program in North America is helpful in guiding its growth and that of other programs. Overall, it says that bike-sharing is working on this side of the pond too and that’s good news.

UPDATE 7/12/10: The results are now here.
image credit: Gwadzilla


BikeBali said...

Beutiful blog. we saw some nice article here. keep on updating

Erica Schlaikjer said...

Thanks for the original reporting!

Have you seen our new video, produced by EMBARQ, about SmartBike? Check it out: