Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Thomas Garrett

Second Advisor

Natalia Kolesnikova

Third Advisor

Amir Molan

Relational Format



The transportation sector causes significant negative externalities (collisions and pollution), most of which are caused by cars. As a result, policymakers often seek to reduce reliance on cars and spur demand for alternative modes of transportation. Many urban planners posit that bike sharing could serve to increase public transit ridership by allowing the bike sharing system to feed into the public transit stations, thereby solving first- and last-mile problems and reducing the time cost to access public transit. However, research into the effect of bike sharing on public transit is mixed. This thesis examines the effect of the 2017 expansion of the bike sharing system in the San Francisco Bay Area on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) ridership. The empirical results reveal that bike share expansion reduced BART ridership on average, with a relatively large reduction to weekend BART ridership and no effect on those BART stations in low-density neighborhoods. These results indicate that, while bike sharing might be solving first- and last-mile problems for some individuals in the Bay Area, the expansion reduced BART ridership on average, and that the relationship between bike sharing and public transit may be substantially different depending on the purpose of the trip (leisure or work) and the urban density of the surrounding area.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Included in

Economics Commons



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