CycleUshare provides a unique opportunity for researchers at the University of Tennessee to study how bikes and e-bikes are used within the bike-sharing system. The following is a summary of our current research goals:

Feasibility: One objective of the pilot project is to evaluate the feasibility of the electric bicycle sharing system. This evaluation is both technical, in terms of system components and operation, and economic, in terms of cost and business model.

User Behavior:
Using GPS data collected from user trips on both e-bikes and regular bikes as part of the bike share program, we are studying user behaviors while operating the bikes. We are focusing on types of trips used by bicycles versus e-bikes, including route choice, terrain aversion, response to weather, etc.

Safety: These data allows us to compare riding behavior on both e-bikes and regular bikes such as stopping at stop signs or red lights, riding in the wrong direction, speed, and other safety-related behavior. This will help address the question of whether e-bikes are intrinsically less safe than regular bikes.

Physical Health: In addition to user safety, physical health impacts of the electric bike sharing system are also studied using collected GPS data. Based on data collected by the GPS, the energy required by the user is calculated. Simultaneously, the energy supplied by the e-bike’s battery is also measured, giving us a record of the user and electrical energy required to complete each trip, which we can link back to physical activity.

Environmental Impacts: We are measuring energy use and focusing on potential changes in emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollution from using the cycleUshare system.

Willingness to Pay: A pricing experiment paired with user and trip characteristics is planned to help understand the premium that users are willing to pay for use of the electric bike share system. This experiment will investigate willingness to pay for both e-bikes and regular bikes as well as demand responsive pricing schemes.

User Surveys: Users are surveyed and asked about specific trips they have made using the electric bike share system. The information collected sheds light on preferences between e-bikes and regular bikes, trip purposes, and alternative modes, tied back to user characteristics. The surveys also provide valuable insight on user perceptions of the two bike types.

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