Study indicates bike sharing can reduce traffic congestion by as much as four percent.

A University of Maryland study of Washington DC’s Capital Bikeshare finds congestion reduction benefits from bike sharing.


Summary Information

Bike sharing systems are an increasingly common in cities around the world. But research teams have only lightly investigated their overall effects on urban transportation systems. This study uses data from the Capital Bikeshare system in Washington DC to analyze if bike share systems are potentially reducing traffic in urban environments.


Researchers at the University of Richmond collected a variety of data to estimate the effect of bike sharing on traffic congestion including detailed traffic count data, bike sharing location data, and demographic data. They then used this data to build a series of equations to estimate the "treatment effect" of having bike share systems in neighborhoods versus not having bike share systems.


At the neighborhood level, bike sharing systems appeared to reduce traffic congestion by three to four percent.

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Bicycle Infrastructure and Traffic Congestion: Evidence from DC's Capital Bikeshare

Author: Hamilton, Timothy L. and Casey J. Wichman

Published By: Economics Faculty Publications

Source Date: 01/01/2018

Other Reference Number: Volume 57



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Benefit ID: 2020-01452