Skip to main content
Log in

Influences on bicycle use

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Transportation Aims and scope Submit manuscript


A stated preference experiment was performed in Edmonton in Canada to both examine the nature of various influences on bicycle use and obtain ratios among parameter values to be used in the development of a larger simulation of household travel behaviour. A total of 1128 questionnaires were completed and returned by current cyclists. Each questionnaire presented a pair of possible bicycle use alternatives and asked which was preferred for travel to a hypothetical all-day meeting or gathering (business or social). Alternatives were described by specifying the amounts of time spent on three different types of cycling facility and whether or not showers and/or secure bicycle parking were available at the destination. Indications of socio-economic character and levels of experience and comfort regarding cycling were also collected. The observations thus obtained were used to estimate the parameter values for a range of different utility functions in logit models representing this choice behaviour. The results indicate, among other things, that time spent cycling in mixed traffic is more onerous than time spent cycling on bike lanes or bike paths; that secure parking is more important than showers at the destination; and that cycling times on roadways tend to become less onerous as level of experience increases. Some of these results are novel and others are consistent with findings regarding bicycle use in work done by others, which is seen to add credence to this work. A review of previous findings concerning influences on cycling behaviour is also included.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Ambrosius, P: Nachfrage im Fahrradverkehr – Ansätze zur Quantifizierung des Einflusses von Radverkehrsanlagen. Ph.D. Thesis, Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany (in German) (1984)

  • Antonakos, C.L.: Environmental and travel preferences of cyclists. Transport. Res. Record 1438, 25–33 (1994)

    Google Scholar 

  • Aultman-Hall, L.M.: Commuter bicycle route choice: analysis of major determinants and safety implications. Ph.D. Thesis, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON (1996)

  • Axhausen, K.W., Smith, R.L.: Bicyclist link evaluation: a stated-preference approach. Transport. Res. Record 1085, 7–15 (1986)

    Google Scholar 

  • Bates , J.J.: Stated preference techniques and the analysis of consumer choice. In: Wrigley, N. (ed.) Store Choice, Store Location and Market Analysis, pp. 187–202. Routledge Chapman and Hall, New York (1988)

  • Ben-Akiva, M.E., Lerman, S.R.: Discrete Choice Analysis: Theory and Application to Travel Demand. MIT Press, Cambridge, USA (1985)

    Google Scholar 

  • Bradley, M.A., Bovy, P.H.L.: A stated preference analysis of bicyclist route choice. Presented at the Planning and Transport Research and Computation Summer Annual Meeting, Brighton, UK (1984)

  • Calgary: Calgary Commuter Cyclist Survey, 1992/1993; Final Results. City of Calgary Transportation Department, Calgary, AB (1993)

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarke, A: Bicycle-friendly cities: key ingredients for success. Transport. Res. Record 1372, 71–75 (1992)

    Google Scholar 

  • Copley, J.D., Pelz, D.B.: The City of Davis experience—what works. Am. Soc. Civil. Eng. Transport. Congr. 2, 1116–1125 (1995)

    Google Scholar 

  • Davis, W.J.: Bicycle test route evaluation for urban road conditions. Am. Soc. Civil. Eng. Transport. Congr. 2, 1063–1076 (1995)

    Google Scholar 

  • Denver: Denver Bicycle Master Plan. City and County of Denver, Denver, CO (1993)

    Google Scholar 

  • Edmonton: Economic Forecasts for Edmonton City and CMA 1995–2020. Planning Department, City of Edmonton, May 1995 (1995)

  • Edmonton: Five Year Transportation Capital Program 1993–1997. Transportation Department, City of Edmonton, May 1993 (1993)

  • Epperson, B.: Evaluating suitability of roadways for bicycle use: towards a cycling level-of-service standard. Transport. Res. Record 1438, 9-16 (1994)

    Google Scholar 

  • Epperson , B., Hendricks, S.J., York, M.: Estimation of bicycle transportation demand from limited data. In: Compendium of Technical Papers from the Institute of Transportation Engineers 65th Annual Meeting, pp. 436–440 (1995)

  • Forester, J.: How to make biking a real alternative. Transport. Environ. 21, 59–61 (1996)

    Google Scholar 

  • Forester, J.: Effective Cycling. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (1986)

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldsmith, S.: Estimating the Effect of Bicycle Facilities on VMT and Emissions. City of Seattle Engineering Department, Seattle, WA (1996)

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenberg, A: (1995) Bicycle travel forecasting. Bicycle USA July/August

  • Guttenplan, M., Patten, R.: Off-road but on track. Transport. Res. News 178(3), 7–11 (1995)

    Google Scholar 

  • Harris and Associates: Pathways for people. Rodale Press Survey, Emmaus, PA (1991)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kroes, E.P., Sheldon, R.J.: Stated preference methods: an introduction. J. Transport Econ. Policy 22, 11–25 (1988)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kroll, B., Ramey, M.: Effect of bike lanes on driver and bicyclist behavior. J. Transport. Eng. Div., Am. Soc. Civil. Eng. 103(TE2), 243–256 (1977)

    Google Scholar 

  • Kroll, B., Sommer, R.: Bicyclist response to urban bikeways. J. Am. Inst. Planners 42, 42–51 (1976)

    Google Scholar 

  • Landis, B.W., Vattikuti, V.R.: Real-time human perceptions: towards a bicycle level of service. Presented at the 1997 Transportation Research Board Annual Conference, Washington DC, January, 1997

  • Lott, D.Y., Tardiff, T., Lott, D.F.: Evaluation by experienced riders of a new bicycle lane in an established bikeway system. Transport. Res. Record 683, 40–46 (1978)

    Google Scholar 

  • Mars, J.H., Kyriakides, M.I.: Riders, Reasons and Recommendations: A Profile of Adult Cyclists in Toronto. City of Toronto Planning and Development Department, Toronto ON (1986)

    Google Scholar 

  • Morikawa, T.: Correcting State Dependence and Serial Correlation in RPSP Combined Estimation Method. Transportation 21, 153–165 (1994)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moritz, W.E.: A survey of North American bicycle commuters—design and aggregate results. Presented at the 1997 Transportation Research Board Annual Conference, Washington DC, January, 1997

  • Nelson, A.C., Allen, D.: If you build them, commuters will use them: the association between bicycle facilities and bicycle commuting. Presented at the 1997 Transportation Research Board Annual Conference, Washington DC, January, 1997

  • Ortúzar, J. de D., Willumsen, L.G.: Modelling Transport, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York, NY (1994)

  • Parajuli, P.: Analysis of Line Haul Transit Systems with Low Cost Feeder Modes. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB (1996)

  • Parajuli, P., Wirasinghe, S.C., Hunt J.D.: Line haul transit system planning for low cost access modes. Transportation System Analysis and Policy Studies, Proceedings of the 4th National Conference on Transportation System Studies, NCOTSS-96, Mumbai, India, December 1996, pp. 145–168 (1996)

  • Replogle, M.: Integrating Pedestrian and Bicycle Factors into Regional Transportation Planning Models – Summary of the State of the Art and Suggested Steps Forward. Environmental Defence Fund, Washington DC (1995)

  • Sacks, D.W.: Greenways as Alternative Transportation Routes: A Case Study of Selected Greenways in the Baltimore, Washington Area. M.Sc. Thesis, Towson State University, Towson, MD (1994)

  • Shepherd, R.: Road and path quality for cyclists. Conf. Aust. Road Res. Board 17(5), 133–147 (1994)

  • Sorton, A.: Measuring the bicyclist stress level of streets. Am. Soc. Civil Eng. Transport. Congr. 2, 1077–1088 (1995)

    Google Scholar 

  • Sorton, A., Walsh, T. Bicycle stress level as a tool to evaluate urban and sub-urban bicycle compatibility. Transport. Res. Record 1438, 17–24 (1994)

    Google Scholar 

  • St Jacques, K.R., DeRobertis, M.: Bike lanes versus wide curb lanes: applications and observations. Am. Soc. Civil Eng. Transport. Congr. 2, 1126–1136 (1995)

    Google Scholar 

  • Stein, W.R.: Pedestrian and bicycle modeling in North America’s urban areas: a survey of emerging methodologies and MPO practices. M.Sc. Project Document, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (1996)

  • Taylor, D., Mahmassani H.: Analysis of stated preferences for intermodal bicycle-transit interfaces. Transport. Res. Record 1556, 86–95 (1997)

    Google Scholar 

  • Teichgraeber, B.: Wegewhal von Radfahrern. M.Sc. Thesis, Universität Karlsruhe, Germany (in German) (1982)

  • Treadgold, P.: The future for cycling. Meeting report. In: Proceeding of the Institute of Civil Engineers, Vol. 117, pp. 231–233 (1996)

  • Wilkinson, W.C., Clarke, A., Epperson, B., Knoblauch, R.: The effects of bicycle accommodations on bicycle/motor vehicle safety and traffic operations. United States Department of Transportation, Washington DC (1992)

  • Wynne, G.G.: National Bicycling and Walking Study; Case Study 16: A Study of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs in European Countries. FHWA-PD-92–037, United States Government Printing Office, Washington DC (1992)

Download references


Alan Brownlee, Bob Strynadka and Rhonda Toohey of the City of Edmonton provided valuable assistance in the collection and preparation of the data and along with Peter Heppleston of the City of Edmonton offered helpful suggestions on how to improve the work. The cooperation of those cyclists who completed the survey form was an essential component of the work, for which the authors are very thankful. The City of Edmonton provided financial support for the data collection and analysis work reported here. The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada also provided financial support for the preparation of this paper.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. D. Hunt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hunt, J.D., Abraham, J.E. Influences on bicycle use. Transportation 34, 453–470 (2007).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: