Bicycle Justice or Just Bicycles? Analyzing Equity in Baltimore's Bike Share Program
Bike share systems have become a common feature of the modern urban landscape and provide residents and visitors with an active transportation mode. Yet these systems have sustained equity-focused criticism for serving a narrow demographic band of residents and visitors, while others lack access and face barriers to usage. The City of Baltimore, Maryland, launched a bike share system in 2016. This study evaluates Baltimore’s new system from an equity-focused lens using two complementary approaches. The first approach, which is a GIS-based equity gap analysis, develops a population-density-normalized Bike Equity Index to quantitatively assess the spatial distribution of the city’s bicycle infrastructure supply and how it serves (or doesn’t serve) Baltimore’s transit-dependent and environmental justice communities. The second analytic orientation, which applies a user and barrier analysis, utilizes survey data to identify the low-equity groups and the variables that limit (or don’t limit) their demand for the city’s bike share program. When combined, the two perspectives—one top-down and the other bottom-up—present a more comprehensive picture and nuanced understanding of the current system’s equity performance.
Nickkar, Amirreza; Chavis, Celeste; Bhutan, Istiak A.; and Barnes, Philip J., "Bicycle Justice or Just Bicycles? Analyzing Equity in Baltimore's Bike Share Program" (2018). Clarence M. Mitchell School of Engineering. 10.
Department of Transportation and Urban Infrastructure at Morgan State University