Facilitators and barriers to bikeshare use among users and non-users in a socioeconomically diverse urban population

Rebecca L. Franckle, Caroline G. Dunn, Kelsey A. Vercammen, Jane Dai, Mark J. Soto, Sara N. Bleich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Public bike sharing programs are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. While there is a growing body of literature exploring participation and facilitators among bike share users, little is known about the views of people who have not enrolled in bikeshare programs and how they differ from current users. This knowledge is critical to expand bikeshare ridership, particularly among low-income populations who typically have lower participation levels. We developed a cross-sectional survey to assess perceived barriers and facilitators to bikeshare use among users and non-users of the Bluebikes bikeshare program in Boston, Massachusetts. Survey respondents were recruited from lower-income Boston neighborhoods via flyers, social media, Craigslist, and in-person between June 12–July 31, 2019. A total of 512 people completed the survey (277 bikeshare users and 235 non-users). Bikeshare users in our sample differed significantly from non-users with respect to age, sex, and race. Barriers and facilitators of bikeshare use were largely similar between users and non-users, as well as among users stratified by household income. The most frequently cited barriers included: safety concerns, lack of a helmet, proximity to stations, trouble with renting/returning a bike, and weather. The main facilitators included: convenience, proximity to stations, environmental benefits, economic benefits, fun, and health benefits. Salience of many of the most frequent barriers and facilitators increased with frequency of ridership. Barriers identified by users and non-users of bikeshare programs suggest key areas of program improvements and/or areas of focus for future recruitment efforts. Likewise, potential facilitators noted by non-users may represent key marketing opportunities for bikeshare programs that are seeking to expand in socioeconomically diverse urban settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101185
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Physical activity
  • Public health
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Informatics


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