Exploratory study of the potential demand for a pedelec bike-sharing system

<p></p><p>Abstract The objective of this exploratory study is to introduce and discuss the results of a procedure developed for assessing the potential demand for a pedelec bike-sharing system at the São Carlos campus of the University of São Paulo (USP). Formed by two areas that are 4.5 km away from one another, the campus seems to be particularly suited for the implementation of this sort of transportation system. The approach can be used to identify target groups and to check users’ preferences when choosing between the buses operated by the university and shared pedelecs to travel between the two areas. Data collection and data analysis are conducted, respectively, with stated preference surveys and artificial neural networks. The responses of 397 students suggest that the physical effort involved in cycling, unfavorable weather conditions, long travel times, and the absence of cyclepaths are the main barriers to the use of conventional bicycles. Overcrowding, inflexible and limited departure times, and long walking distances to reach the bus stops are the main obstacles for the use of the buses operated by the university. The selection of pedelecs is influenced mainly by the existence of cycle paths, the number of passengers at the university bus stop, and the weather conditions.</p><p></p>