The paradox of public acceptance of bike sharing in Gothenburg
Journal article, 2015
Bike sharing is one of the most promising urban planning interventions to facilitate an all-necessary transition towards a more sustainable transport paradigm. Regardless of the fact that hundreds of schemes run in more than 50 countries worldwide, bike sharing is still moderately investigated by research. This paper reports on a primarily quantitative study of 558 responses that was set to frame attitudes reflecting public acceptance towards the rapidly expanding bike-sharing scheme in Gothenburg (Styr & Ställ), in an attempt to identify the ‘formula for success’. The respondents generally believed that Styr & Ställ is a pro-environmental, inexpensive and healthy transport mode, which complements the city’s public transport services and promotes a more human-friendly identity for Gothenburg. Even the respondents that self-reported a small (or no) likelihood to use bike sharing were positive towards the scheme. This means that they recognise that bike sharing has a significant pro-social potential and is not a system favouring a particular road-user segment over others that might not be interested or able to use it. The fact that the majority of the respondents do not use the scheme and yet its popularity is still vast indicates that there is much potential for more use in real terms.
town and city planning