Bike share systems have potential to decrease automobile travel and increase active travel.

A literature review of research on active travel find bike sharing systems may be used to reduce sedentary modes of transport.


Summary Information

Reducing sedentary transportation, primarily automobile driving, has long been a goal of transportation planners, public policy officials, and environmental advocates. The benefits of reducing sedentary transport are well understood and will lead to increase daily physical activity for travelers, reduced automobile dependence, and improved air quality. Despite the recognized importance of reducing sedentary transport, actually reducing it has proven difficult.

Municipalities have tried a variety of policies such as reducing speed limits, improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Recently, cities have turned to bike sharing systems as one way to promote active travel. Previously untenable, electronic fare payment systems, asset management systems, and GPS technologies have enabled this rapid expansion of bike sharing systems.


To assess which policies have been most effective at reducing sedentary transport researchers conducted a literature review of research on this topic. The research team searched a variety of online, research databases such as Web of Science using search terms like active transport, active travel, and bike share. The research team than evaluated the results of these studies and summarized their results. In the end the team reviewed and summarized 50 peer reviewed articles from a variety of disciplines including public health, urban planning, and transportation.


Cities with bike share systems have seen "population-level increases in cycling" and hence decreased sedentary transportation.

Cities usually considered car-centric, like Los Angeles, have seen increases in active travel. This suggests that policies and infrastructure promoting active travel do work if implemented in a comprehensive manner.

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Policies to Promote Active Travel: Evidence from Reviews of the Literature

Author: Winters, Meghan; Ralph Buehler; and Thomas Götschi

Published By: Current Environmental Health Reports

Source Date: 01/01/2017

Other Reference Number: Vol 4 (3): 278–85



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Benefit ID: 2020-01469