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Impact of pricing and transit disruptions on bikeshare ridership and revenue

  • Shruthi KavitiEmail author
  • Mohan M. Venigalla
  • Shanjiang Zhu
  • Kimberly Lucas
  • Stefanie Brodie
Article

Abstract

Bikeshare operators routinely explore options to improve ridership and revenue by studying interaction among pricing, service and operations. The objective of this research is to study the impact of introducing a new $2 fare for single-trip on revenue and ridership at Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) in the metro Washington DC region. The single-trip fare (STF) at CaBi is one of the three fare products aimed at casual users—the other two being 24-h pass and 3-day pass. STF was introduced inconjuction with SafeTrack, which is a major Metrorail track maintenance program intiated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The impact analysis of STF includes studying the influence of SafeTrack on CaBi ridership. The analysis was based on revenue and ridership data before and after the implementation of STF and weather data for the region. The results showed that the first-time casual members increased by as much as 79% immediately after the introduction of STF, along with an overall increase in ridership. Jurisdiction-level analysis indicated a statistically significant increase in casual user ridership for identical 12-month periods before and after the introduction of STF. However, the analysis indicated that the impact of STF on revenue from casual users before and after STF at jurisdiction-level was inconclusive. As would be expected, the launch of STF, which is a casual fare product, did not impact ridership and revenue of monthly and annual registered members. Sensitivity analysis of ridership to rail transit disruptions due to SafeTrack indicated that there was a statistically significant increase in ridership by registered members and casual users at the CaBi stations affected by SafeTrack. The concurrency of STF launch with SafeTrack may have played a role in this increase. For, the new fare product created an opportunity for commuters to try CaBi as an alternative travel mode at an affordable price that is compatible with transit fare during transit service disruptions. However, the analysis did not present any evidence on the sustained nature of CaBi ridership increase attributable to SafeTrack. The methods used in this research are helpful for bikeshare operators to model changes in ridership and revenue from attributable to pricing structure.

Keywords

Bikeshare Ridership Revenue Transit disruptions Shared mobility Pricing 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was performed in cooperation with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official view or policies of the FHWA or DDOT. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Also, partial funding for the research was provided by DDOT, the US Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers research program and a research grant from the Office of Provost at George Mason University. The study team would like to express its gratitude to the project panel at DDOT, especially to Ms. Stephanie Dock of DDOT for their invaluable guidance, input and support.

Author’s contribution

SK: Analysis and manuscript writing, literature search and review; MMV: Original methodology, content planning, detailed review and manuscript editing; SZ: Methodology; KL: Data collection and methodology; SB: Reviewed manuscript and provided detailed comments

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.District Department of TransportationWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.District Department of TransportationWashingtonUSA

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