“New Survey Finds Capital Bikeshare Members Drive Less and Save Big”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

From DDOT:

Capital Bikeshare members save an average of $891 per year and collectively reduce their driving miles by 5 million per year. These are just some of the findings from an extensive report released today regarding the annual survey of members of the regional bikesharing program. The report contains detailed insight on how people are using Capital Bikeshare to get around in the District and Arlington, the impact of the program and the satisfaction of users.

The survey was administered in November and December of 2011 and received over 5,000 responses. As the largest bikesharing program in the nation, and one of the few to be in operation for longer than one year, this represents a wealth of useful information to anyone interested in urban transportation.

The survey analysis and report were performed by Lori Diggins of LDA Consulting. The resulting report and executive summary, along with other data on the Capital Bikeshare system, can be found online.

Some of the highlights include:

83 percent of respondents said they were more likely to patronize a business that was Capital Bikeshare accessible

82 percent of respondents reported increased bike use since joining Capital Bikeshare and 70 percent said Capital Bikeshare was an important reason

Over all Capital Bikeshare members, this translates to 5 million fewer driving miles each year

Capital Bikeshare members saved an average of $891 annually on travel

Capital Bikeshare was major/main factor for 56 percent who reduced car use

9 Comment

  • Does anyone know if this was an independent company that did this survey? Just because the name is “different” and doesn’t appear to be connected to CaBi, still not totally convinced. Also, if DDOT is the one that is reporting these findings, why are the bike lanes not throughout the city and better for bikers, as in unending complaints about the bike/car/pedestrian issues.

    • austindc

      The executive summary says that the study was done for Capital Bikeshare Management, which is probably Alta (the company that runs it), DDOT, and Arlington (the municipalities that Alta works for).

      While these findings are encouraging, I doubt that DDOT would design large scale bike infrastructure solely on Cabi use. DDOT also needs to serve motorists and mass transit riders, so they need to balance a lot of different people’s needs. Adding bike lanes often requires careful planning and public input, and Cabi data should not be the only source for that kind of decision making. That being said, I want some more bike lanes right now baby.

  • I didn’t particpate in the survey, but the results coincide with what my answers would have been. I had never biked in the city before CaBi because I didn’t have a lot of room in my place to store a bike, worried about getting the bike stolen, and was intimidated about biking in the city. Cut to two years later and I’m a casual biker now. Use it to ride home from work on nice days, to ride on bike trails for fun and sometimes to meet people out.

  • I can see this starting a mini revolution where businesses will see the advantages of having a CaBi station close by and compete to have one built nearby.

  • I used to spend 100-120 bucks a month on public transport. About two thirds was subsidized by my job so my wallet wasn’t affect. I have spent that much in the last ten months after switching to bike share. After the $75 yearly fee, the other costs have been when I lost my token and get two three day passes waiting for a new one. I have saved well over $1k. It has made DC a much more enjoyable city.

  • Ouch, a 31% response rate? Study should probably be retitled: Capital Bikeshare 2011 Member Survey Report from highly involved and enthusiastic users willing to complete a survey.

    If you’re just “meh” about bikeshare, or have a negative experience with it, you’re probably not going to fill out the survey.

    • Maybe the opposite. People who are not happy with a service usually tend to be more eager to “make their voices heard”.

    • austindc

      A 31% response rate with n=5000 is fine as long as the sample is representative of the population of Cabi riders. The report doesn’t seem to state whether or not they believe the sample to be representative though, so you’re probably right–this is data may be skewed by self-selection bias. It doesn’t mean the results should be tossed out entirely, but they should be interpreted with this sampling method in mind.

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