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The effect of non-recreational transport cycling on use of other transport modes: A cross-sectional on-line survey


  • Hatfield, Julie
  • Boufous, Soufiane


Accurate modelling of the health and environmental benefits of non-recreational transport cycling requires information about its effects on the use of other transport modes. Relevant research has not focussed on cycling for transport in a general context (as opposed to bikeshare), nor allowed for multi-modal trips. The influence of trip- and personal-characteristics on whether cycling replaces car-driving have yet to be considered. The present study aimed to address these research gaps. An on-line cross-sectional survey was completed by 1525 Australians who cycle for transport at least once per week. For the most recent trip completed (at least partly) by bicycle participants provided trip distance, and percentage travelled by car, public transport (PT), and walking. They also provided the percentage travelled by each mode for the same trip before taking up transport cycling; and a hypothetical future trip when riding is not possible. Compared to the same trip before, fifty percent of recent trips reduced car use, and around 1/3 eliminated a 100%-car trip. Reduced car use was significantly less likely for trips under 7.5km, commuting, females, respondents under 55, and regular cyclists. Reduced car use was less likely for respondents who started riding because it is flexible, and more likely for those who started riding to avoid parking. Car-use was reduced by an average of 6.2km per trip, and each bicycle-km cycled replaced 0.5 car-km. Participants report that since taking up cycling, even when they cannot use their bike, they use cars less and use PT more compared to before they took up cycling. Results suggest that previous studies underestimated the extent to which transport cycling replaces car travel, and highlights trip types and population groups to target with cycling promotion strategies. Information about the per-trip and per-bicycle-km replacement of car, PT and walking may be used for more accurate estimation of the benefits of transport cycling than has hitherto been possible.

Suggested Citation

  • Hatfield, Julie & Boufous, Soufiane, 2016. "The effect of non-recreational transport cycling on use of other transport modes: A cross-sectional on-line survey," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 220-231.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:92:y:2016:i:c:p:220-231
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2016.08.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cherry, Christopher & Cervero, Robert, 2007. "Use characteristics and mode choice behavior of electric bike users in China," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 247-257, May.
    2. Mooy, Johanna M. & Gunning-Schepers, Louise J., 2001. "Computer-assisted health impact assessment for intersectoral health policy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 169-177, September.
    3. Ian W. H. Parry & Margaret Walls & Winston Harrington, 2007. "Automobile Externalities and Policies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(2), pages 373-399, June.
    4. Elliot Fishman & Simon Washington & Narelle Haworth, 2013. "Bike Share: A Synthesis of the Literature," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 148-165, March.
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