Bike shares are getting increasingly popular. © Flowizm via Flickr

Bike shares are getting increasingly popular. © Flowizm via Flickr

Getting more people on bikes is always interesting for us, and it seems like bike sharing programs are doing great things in recent years. A study came our way recently that proved the last part definitively, and while it’s not cyclocross-specific, anything getting people out riding is a step in the right direction!

Business Appears to Be Picking Up Near Capital Bikeshare Stations

New research suggests that companies located near Capital Bikeshare stations see an increase in business because of traffic from bikeshare riders.

During the 2013 fall semester, a group of urban-planning graduate students at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria campus investigated the economic impacts of bikesharing on local businesses. The students used a sample of five Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) stations in Washington D.C. to conduct intercept surveys with 333 users and a door-to-door survey of 140 local businesses located close to CaBi stations in five locations.

Overall, the study suggests that CaBi generates shared benefits among users and businesses.

Here are some key findings:

  • 73 percent of respondents were motivated to use CaBi because of shorter travel times, while 42 percent reported enjoyment, 41 percent reported exercise, and 25 percent reported lower travel costs
  • 66 percent of users reported traveling to a destination associated with consumer spending (such as food-related or entertainment), and of those 63 percent planned to spend $10-$49 and 30 percent planned to spend more than $50
  • Most users traveling to spending destinations indicated they would be spending at a business nearby the CaBi station, with 39 percent reporting spending would occur within 2 blocks of the station and an additional 40 percent indicating spending would occur within 4 blocks
  • About one in six respondents (16 percent) indicated they would not have made their trip without the presence of the CaBi station, while 78 percent indicated they would have made the trip regardless of CaBi (and 6 percent were unsure)
  • Of those 16 percent who reported making an induced (new) trip, 19 percent indicated they would have likely stayed home rather than traveling to another neighborhood

And bonus, even the non-cycling population approves: 69 percent of businesses described the location of their business in relation to CaBi as favorable, and 59 percent of businesses indicated they would like more CaBi stations to be added.

Have you ever tried a bike share bike? Or, as a ’cross junkie, do you strictly commute with knobby tires?