Can a bikesharing system reduce fuel consumption? Case study in Tucson, Arizona

Xiaofeng Li, Adrian Cottam, Yao Jan Wu, Alireza Khani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Despite the popularity of bikesharing systems, it is still unclear whether bikesharing systems can reduce fuel consumption, and how much of fuel-savings they could achieve. Therefore, this paper evaluated the fuel-savings of a bikesharing system in Tucson with varying substitution rates of bikesharing trips for vehicle-based trips. First, relocation operations were identified by fusing bikesharing trip and station level data. Then, the fuel consumed by the relocation truck and the fuel saved by bikesharing trips were estimated. Sensitivity analyses are conducted to investigate the fuel consumption impacts of adding more stations, optimizing the relocation routes, and using more operation trucks. After adding four more stations and optimizing the relocation routes, the required car substitution rate to offset the fuel consumed by the relocation truck decreases from 30% to 17%. Furthermore, the required substitution rate in a denser bikesharing system is less sensitive to an increase in the number of trucks. Therefore, bikesharing systems have great potential to reduce fuel consumption by incorporating suitable strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102604
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bikesharing system
  • Fuel consumption
  • New bikesharing station
  • Relocation operation truck
  • Substitution rate


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