Commitments to improve infrastructure and street efficiency benefit users of bikeshare and
cyclists more generally, as well as pedestrians and transit riders. Introducing a bikeshare
system could be viewed, by some, as increasing competition for public space on the sidewalk,
green space, and parking space. Cities can curb these sentiments by developing streetscapes
that maximize space and usability for sustainable modes—complete streets—and using
bikeshare as a catalyst to improve accessibility. Complete streets have been shown to both
encourage cycling and decrease fatal crashes.
While bikeshare can be implemented even if there is little existing cycling infrastructure, pairing
the construction of new bike lanes with the opening of a bikeshare system can add to public
acceptance and improve safety for users of the new system, as well as personal bike riders.
When Seville, Spain launched its Sevici bikeshare system in 2007, the city committed to building
hundreds of kilometers of cycle tracks over the next decade. A well-connected network of lanes
emerged, and Seville saw a marked increase in bike trips and a decrease in crashes and bikerelated
injuries. In city after city, building bike lanes has been shown to increase bike ridership,
and when integrated with bikeshare, can make a compelling case for additional infrastructure
investments that will continue to increase the number of bikes on the road.
Conversely, a large uptick in the number of cyclists on the road because of bikeshare can be a
visible reminder of the need for safe, separated bike lanes. The mayor of Chengdu in China
committed to building 600 kilometers of bike lanes following the massive increase of bike
riders brought about by dockless bikeshare. In that city, the number of daily trips on Mobikes
alone have eclipsed the number of daily subway trips. Additionally, data generated from
bikeshare trips can provide evidence of the impact of bicycle network improvements, whereas
it can be difficult to gather this data from private bike users. This evidence showing that bike
infrastructure is being used—and perhaps generating more bike trips and, thus, more data—
could even help make the case for more investment in bike infrastructure. In 2017, New York
City DOT cited an 80% growth in daily cycling trips from 2010-2015 (which includes Citi Bike
trips) as evidence to support building more (and more connected) protected bike lanes.