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Travel Behavior of Early Lime Bikeshare Program Users in Reno and Sparks, Nevada

Authors: TIANWEN HUI*, University of Nevada - Reno
Topics: Transportation Geography
Keywords: Bike Sharing, Travel Behavior
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In 2018, LimeBike launched a pilot bike sharing program in both the City of Reno and the City of Sparks in Northern Nevada. In other metropolitan areas, bike sharing usage has reduced private vehicle travel and mitigated congestion in recent years, while providing health benefits to users. While this is encouraging, it is unclear how early adopters of this bike sharing program conducted such travel in these rapidly-growing mid-sized cities during this pilot period. In total, 56,000 unique users recorded over 127,000 rides over the first five months of the trial period (May to October 2018). Lime provided origin and destination point pairs of each unique ride, allowing for spatial analysis of proximity of these points to common travel destinations in the city, and estimation of routes traveled by users. Using GIS analysis, this study assessed demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of areas within the city that were commonly visited by users, providing a, comprehensive assessment of the areas in these Northern Nevada cities that users tended to frequent. Results indicate that in Reno, casinos were a surprising top popular destination, unlike in metropolitan cities where people used bike sharing more for other purposes. We also observe origin and destination point correspondence with neighborhoods that do not generally feature high incomes, and riders also tended to avoid areas of the city with relatively steep slopes. Additional network analysis that considers the route choices will provide several directions for future development of bike sharing service in mid-sized cities like Reno and Sparks.

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