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Research Project
Evaluation Study of Bike Share Program in Fargo, ND

The growing popularity of bike-share programs in United States has prompted many cities to implement bike-share programs to enhance mobility, health, and livability in their communities. Although the concept of bike sharing has existed informally since 1965, the bike-share program is increasing rapidly around the world and in United States with the advent of third generation bike-share systems featuring smart cards and key fobs that can electronically lock or unlock bicycles from docking stations. Initially implemented in larger cities, the programs' effectiveness and applicability is prompting smaller communities to launch their own programs. In the United States, as of April 2014, there were a total of 42 cities and 4 universities operating bike-share programs with city of New York being the city with largest number of bikes (6000 bikes as of May 2013).

Major advantages of bike-share program include increased transportation options for the public, improved health and fitness, reduced environmental impacts due to mode shift from automobiles to bicycles, affordability, and improved community connectivity. The advantages, applicability, and impact of bike-share in urban areas have been well studied and documented. However, due to the spread of this program in smaller cities and communities, there is a need to study the public attitudes toward bike-share programs as well as the benefits, applicability, and use of the program in those communities.

In the city of Fargo, bicycling is increasingly encouraged between the North Dakota State University main campus and downtown campus and business district with shared bike lanes and required roadway signage installed on the major connecting roads. Recently, as the city of Fargo planned implementation of a bike-share program, it was decided that there is a need to conduct an evaluation study to examine the demand for this program, potential user's opinion about the program, impact of bike-share program on travel behavior, and the types of trips for which the bikes would be used. With basic infrastructure in place and a reputation as a bike-friendly city, the city of Fargo will be able to launch a bike-share program without much effort or expenditure. However, because the bike-share program is expected to grow in the future, an analysis should be conducted to determine the need for more bike lanes and additional infrastructure for bikes.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050
(701)231-1064surtc@ugpti.org