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Title: Bicycle sharing systems and their role in the promotion of cycling as a mode of transport in southern European island cities
Authors: Maas, Suzanne (2021)
Keywords: Urban transportation -- Cyprus -- Limassol
Urban transportation -- Canary Islands -- La Palma
Urban transportation -- Malta -- Valletta
Sustainable transportation -- Cyprus -- Limassol
Sustainable transportation -- Canary Islands -- La Palma
Sustainable transportation -- Malta -- Valletta
Bicycle sharing programs -- Cyprus -- Limassol
Bicycle sharing programs -- Canary Islands -- La Palma
Bicycle sharing programs -- Malta -- Valletta
Regression analysis
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: Maas, S. (2021). Bicycle sharing systems and their role in the promotion of cycling as a mode of transport in southern European island cities (Doctoral dissertation).
Abstract: Across the globe, the approach to transport planning is shifting towards sustainable urban mobility planning, in an effort to address traffic congestion, air pollution, and carbon emission reductions, and to promote a better quality of life for urban citizens. In this context, Bicycle Sharing Systems (BSS) have emerged as a transport innovation, allowing for multimodal travel, without having to own a private bicycle, while normalizing cycling in cities where this was not previously the norm. In the span of two decades, BSS have grown from just a handful to almost 3,000 systems worldwide. To understand which factors influence cycling, and BSS use specifically, this research used socio-ecological approaches to understand active travel behaviour. A framework was created to assess the influence of individual factors, social environment factors, and objective and perceived physical environment factors, as well as the policy environment shaping these. This research focuses on Southern European island cities, with their specific geographical and socio-cultural context, high population density and car-dependence, and a strong influence of tourists and visitors. The aim of this research is to analyse the use of BSS, and the role they play in promoting cycling as a mode of transport in Southern European island cities, as part of their ambition to promote sustainable urban mobility. A multiple-case study approach is used to analyse the introduction and use of the BSS in Limassol (Cyprus), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) and the conurbation around Valletta (Malta). Self-reported usage data from a BSS user survey in the three sites was analysed through descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and binary logistic regression models. BSS trip data provided by the BSS operators, combined with external datasets, enabled the assessment of the influence of objective physical environment factors on observed BSS use in the case study cities through spatio-temporal regression modeling. The influence of individual, social environment and physical environment factors on shared bicycle use is analysed, looking at differences between frequent and infrequent BSS users, to get a better understanding of the motivators and barriers that influence BSS use. Results show that frequent BSS use is positively associated with frequent use of other ‘alternative’ transport modes, such as public transport use, as well as with shorter distances from respondents’ residence and most frequent destinations to the nearest BSS station. Higher perceived safety of cycling was also associated with more frequent BSS use, as did a positive social norm, including support from friends and family, respect from other road users, and feeling that cycling is an accepted form of transport, confirming the importance of such factors in building a cycling culture. The influence of land use, socio-economic, network and temporal factors on BSS station use is examined through bivariate correlation analysis and the development of linear mixed models for each case study. The results showed a significant positive relationship with the number of cafes and restaurants, vicinity to the beach or promenade and the percentage of foreign population at the station locations in all cities. In Limassol and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a positive relation with cycling infrastructure was evident. This association was not found in Malta, as there is little to no cycling infrastructure in the island’s conurbation, where most of the BSS stations are located. Elevation showed a negative relationship with BSS use in all three cities. A positive effect of higher temperatures and a negative effect of rainfall were observed in Limassol and Malta, where seasonality in weather patterns is stronger than in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The findings and recommendations of this study contribute to a better understanding of BSS use and cycling in the context of ‘starter’ cycling cities, as well as suggestions for how to overcome the barriers and leverage the motivators for the promotion of cycling, towards the goal of making sustainable urban mobility a reality.
Description: Ph.D.(Melit.)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsCCSD - 2021

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