A new study from the UK has illustrated how shared public bikes act as a gateway into cycling for many people, as well as normalising cycling as an everyday mode of transport.
A key aspect of the Department of Transport's 2021 Climate Action Plan is a focus on sustainable mobility. The Irish Government aims to achieve 500,000 additional daily walking, cycling and public transport journeys by 2030 and encourages the public to choose sustainable mobility options.
Bike sharing enables people to take up cycling and as such is an integral part of the transition to sustainable mobility. A recent survey from CoMoUK found that 50% of users were motivated to start cycling again by the opportunity to use bike sharing. Within this cohort, "a higher proportion of women compared to men (37% vs 25%) were more likely to have started cycling for the first time or after a 5+ year break."
The relatively low cost of bike sharing makes cycling more accessible to people of all income levels. Bike sharing also allows users who are not confident in their cycling skills to try out cycling at a low risk before deciding whether to invest in a bike for private use.
Nine percent of bike sharing users surveyed went on to purchase their own bike. At the same time, many people continue to use their personal bike and bike sharing depending on the nature of the trip. The same survey revealed that 44% of bike sharing users also owned their own bike.
Overall, bike sharing has led to an increase in cycling trips in the UK. By decreasing the cost and risk to cycling, it has expanded the choices for sustainable mobility within cities. Bike sharing has also revolutionised the way we use public transportation. Users can cycle out to a destination and jog home to get a change of scenery while exercising. Or they can hire a bike to get home quickly if they missed a bus. All of these journeys mean fewer cars on the road and more people reaping the health benefits of active travel.
Bleeper is delighted to be paving the way for sustainable travel in Dublin through our public bike scheme. With over 110,000 users in Fingal, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Dublin City, we are proud of the part we play in promoting & enabling active travel in Ireland.