Investigation on the joint travel behavior in bike sharing systems during the COVID-19 pandemic: Insights from New York City
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2024

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsened, many people saw bikes as one of the safest means of transportation in the hard-hit cities. All the bike sharing utilization patterns during the pandemic are worthy of careful attention. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of niche but notable cycling behaviors, such as multi-person round trip (MPRT), defined as two or more cyclists intentionally riding together then returning bikes to the original docking station. This study extends the relevant literature by firstly proposing a MPRT identification framework based on individual bike sharing trip records, with consideration of interpersonal relationships between co-travelers, as well as the specificity of round trips against one-way trips. Taking New York City as a case study, this study examines the changes over space and time of MPRT frequencies from 2019 (i.e. pre-pandemic period) to 2020 (i.e. pandemic period), and the reasons for it. Notably, special consideration of the aforementioned analysis is paid to the influence of the real-time situation of COVID-19 in terms of cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and tests. Results reveal that (1) the MPRT frequencies obey a long tail distribution, both prior to and during the COVID-19 outbreak; (2) the group size, temporal patterns and co-traveler community are profoundly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak; (3) four indicators related to COVID-19 show different influences on co-travelers over time; (4) bike sharing availability and personal economic situation are closely related with MPRT frequencies. These findings can help develop more targeted strategies for improving the operation of a bike sharing system to meet the possible diversified demands of cyclists during the future pandemics.

Bike sharing

Environmental influences

Special utilization

Geographically and temporally weighted regression

Multi-person round trip



Hui Bi

Southeast University

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Hui Gao

Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Aoyong Li

Tsinghua University

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Zhirui Ye

Southeast University

Journal of Transport Geography

0966-6923 (ISSN)

Vol. 117 103890


Hållbar utveckling




Transportteknik och logistik



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