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Title: Assessing spatial and social dimensions of shared bicycle use in a Southern European island context : the case of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Authors: Maas, Suzanne
Attard, Maria
Caruana, Mark Anthony
Keywords: Bicycle sharing programs -- Canary Islands -- La Palmas -- Case studies
Spatial analysis (Statistics) -- Data processing
Regression analysis
Cluster analysis
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Maas, S., Attard, M., & Caruana, M. A. (2020). Assessing spatial and social dimensions of shared bicycle use in a Southern European island context: the case of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 140, 81-97.
Abstract: The 21st century has seen a cycling renaissance across Europe with many cities moving away from the car-centric infrastructure, urban design and planning policies prevalent since the 1950s. Southern European island cities, which exhibit certain characteristics considered as barriers to cycling, such as hot summers and high humidity, hilliness, and car-oriented culture and infrastructure however, have been lagging behind in this resurgence of cycling. Despite this, bicycle sharing systems (BSS) and policies promoting cycling have emerged in this region. These have the potential to provide alternatives for those marginalized by car-based mobility and to reduce traffic related diseases and injuries, noise and air pollution, which can contribute to an improved quality of life for all citizens. Using the coastal city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain) as a case study, the utilization of bike-sharing is investigated through a questionnaire to users of the shared bicycles, as well as through spatial analysis of the BSS trip data. The analysis of the survey, through descriptive and inferential statistics, allows for an understanding of the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the users, and the inter- and intra-personal factors influencing the choice to use a shared bicycle as a mode of transport. Results show that distance to nearest station, money-saving and environmental concerns, satisfaction with the operating system, and provision of safe cycling infrastructure significantly influence BSS use. A regression model is constructed to assess the influence of spatial factors such as land use, socio-economic characteristics and network variables on the use of the BSS. From the regression model it appears that the presence of cycling infrastructure, proximity to a bus station and the density of tourism accommodation, and by proxy, the number of cafes and restaurants, near bicycle sharing stations positively influences frequency of use. These insights contribute to a deeper understanding of the role of the BSS in the promotion of cycling and the transition to sustainable and inclusive mobility policies, which are still contested in the car-centric transport system currently dominating the city.
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