Bicyclists’ preferences for route characteristics and crowding in Copenhagen: a choice experiment study of commuters

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Cycling as a mode of transportation is increasingly being advocated due to the many positive effects it has on people's health, the environment and to counteract increasing congestion on the transportation infrastructure. There is a long tradition of using cycling as a mode of transportation among the Danish public and this is widespread across people with different socio-demographic characteristics. Copenhagen has an extensive network of cycling facilities and is often used as a role model for other large cities when developing cycling facilities. This setting provides a unique basis for investigating bicycle commuters’ preferences for route characteristics and crowding in particular, which is not studied before, but likely to become an issue around the world's cities with increases in number of bicyclists. The study is based on a choice experiment of 3891 active cyclists in Copenhagen. The investigated attributes are cycle track, crowding, stops, environment/road type, green surroundings, and travel distance which is used as a payment vehicle to gain more desirable route characteristics. On average people state that they are willing to cycle 1.84 km longer if the route has a designated cycle track, and 0.8 km more if there are green surroundings too. Stops and crowding, based on number of cyclists on the route, have significant negative impacts on people's utility of a given route. People were willing to cycle one kilometre longer to avoid high levels of crowding and approximately 1.3 km longer to avoid routes with many stops. The most attractive road environment is a segregated path only for cyclists closely followed by shopping street. Looking into heterogeneity, we find that people who own a car have less disutility of cycling additional distance. The results may support future decision making when creating new infrastructure for cycling in cities by addressing the perceived importance of facilities and crowding in a population where commute cycling is very widespread.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransportation Research. Part A: Policy & Practice
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Bicycling, Bikeability, Crowding, Route preferences, Stated preferences

ID: 177292172