This study examines local economic activity associated with bike sharing programs through a mixed methods
investigation of the Nice Ride Minnesota bike share system. The literature on bike share systems is rapidly growing,
but little information about the ways in which ridership is both influenced by the presence of businesses and
influences those businesses is available. This research provides new information about economic aspects of bike
share operations by (1) measuring the marginal effects of the presence of different types of businesses and job
accessibility on station activity while controlling for other variables; (2) reporting the perceptions of business owners
and managers about the effects of a nearby Nice Ride station on these businesses; and (3) using survey results to
describe Nice Ride users’ trip making and expenditure patterns.
We observed a statistically significant relationship between station trip activity and the number of food-related
businesses and job accessibility within a bike share station area. Business owners and managers corroborated these
findings by revealing general positive attitudes toward Nice Ride users as customers, although interviewees were
ambivalent when asked if they would trade parking or sidewalk cafe space for a Nice Ride station. The user survey
revealed that respondents use bike sharing to go to cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, concerts, bars, and the like,
and they spend modest amounts of money on these trips. The availability of Nice Ride stations mainly supports mode
shifts (e.g., people who choose to bike rather than drive or walk) but it also may induce some new trips. The
principal economic effect may be the reallocation of user expenditures to businesses that are more accessible to
more people because of the nearby stations.
Professional paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Schoner, Jessica; Harrison, R. Andrew; Wang, Xize.
Sharing to Grow: Economic Activity Associated with Nice Ride Bike Share Stations.
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
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