The introduction and proliferation of privately-operated dockless bikeshare systems across North America has caught many public planning agencies, who seek evidence to recognize the extent of dockless bikeshare adoption in their communities and its impact on existing transportation systems, by surprise. In this study, we investigate systemwide travel patterns during the first 18 months of a dockless bikeshare program in the Greater Boston region. Specifically, by identifying neighborhood-level predictors of dockless bike access and usage, this study offers insights into the spatial equity-related impacts of this promising active mobility option in Boston's suburbs, which have limited access to the region's decade-old public dock-based bikeshare system. Utilizing spatiotemporal route-level data provided by the sole dockless system operator to model bikeshare trip generation and duration, this study finds that neighborhoods with a higher share of renter-occupied housing and historically disadvantaged populations had less access to dockless bikes while also exhibiting higher rates of bike usage. We conclude that this undesirable finding may be addressed by implementing safeguard policies such as an equitable dockless bikeshare rebalancing scheme.
- Social equity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies