Barriers and facilitators to bikeshare programs: A qualitative study in an urban environment

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Bikeshare programs have emerged across the US to promote bicycling as an active mode of transportation that could potentially improve health and quality of life. However, bikeshare usage is low in some settings. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore barriers and facilitators of bikeshare use and to identify potential strategies to increase participation in urban environments. Methods: Focus groups were conducted with urban bikeshare users in Birmingham, Alabama. Thematic analysis was guided by the PRECEDE model, which identifies predisposing (intrapersonal), reinforcing (interpersonal), and enabling (structural) factors related to a health program. Results: In the four focus groups, the most prominent barriers to utilization identified were age, disability, stigma, and lack of awareness of programs (intrapersonal), having small children (interpersonal), lack of safety and bicycling infrastructure, bikeshare characteristics such as location, time constraints, cost, ease of use, and availability of bikes (structural). The most prominent facilitators included enjoyment (intrapersonal), peer support (interpersonal), and convenience, location, cost, and availability of electric bikes (structural). Recommendations to increase usage were primarily structural, such as infrastructure improvement, incentive programs, awareness and safety campaigns, expansion to neighborhoods and trails, increasing time users can ride before docking, and providing more electric bikes. Conclusion: To increase bikeshare use in urban settings, use-restricting policies must be addressed.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bateman LB; Fouad MN; Sullivan A; Heider L; Oates GR
  • Volume

  • 21