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Bicycle and Car Share Schemes as Inclusive Modes of Travel? A Socio-Spatial Analysis in Glasgow, UK

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Clark, Julie; Curl, Angela

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Abstract Public bicycle and car sharing schemes have proliferated in recent years and are increasingly part of the urban transport landscape. Shared transport options have the potential to support social inclusion by improving accessibility: these initiatives could remove some of the barriers to car ownership or bicycle usage such as upfront costs, maintenance and storage. However, the existing evidence base indicates that, in reality, users are most likely to be white, male and middle class. This paper argues that there is a need to consider the social inclusivity of sharing schemes and to develop appropriate evaluation frameworks accordingly. We therefore open by considering ways in which shared transport schemes might be inclusive or not, using a framework developed from accessibility planning. In the second part of the paper, we use the case study of Glasgow in Scotland to undertake a spatial equity analysis of such schemes. We examine how well they serve different population groups across the city, using the locations of bicycle stations and car club parking spaces in Glasgow, comparing and contrasting bike and car. An apparent failure to deliver benefits across the demographic spectrum raises important questions about the socially inclusive nature of public investment in similar schemes. (author's abstract)
Keywords town; agglomeration area; mobility; choice of means of transport; multimodality; motor vehicle; bicycle; car sharing; private motor vehicle traffic; road traffic; target group; user research; customer; socioeconomic factors; social integration; Great Britain
Classification Sociology of Traffic; Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Sociology of Settlements and Housing, Urban Sociology
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 83-99
Journal Social Inclusion, 4 (2016) 3
Issue topic Transport Policy and Social Inclusion
ISSN 2183-2803
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution