With the worldwide increasing demand for urban mobility and urban kilometres travelled, the cities are facing new ecological, social and environmental challenges in transportation system. To cope with these challenges, addressing the root – behaviour of users – and prioritizing sustainable modes of transport would be essential. Bicycle is one of such transportation modes – it is efficient, environmentally friendly and physically beneficial for its user. The Netherlands is world renown for cycling both in terms of existing bicycle culture and in the quality of infrastructure provided. However, one of its largest cities, Rotterdam is lacking behind with a bicycle share lower than the country average, especially for work trips. For this reason, travel behaviour and bicycle use of commuters in Rotterdam was thoroughly investigated in this study. The main objective of this research was to explain the determinants of the current level of bicycle use in Rotterdam, specifically focusing on commuting. To achieve this objective, several groups of factors influencing user’s decision to (not) cycle were examined. The study included not only hard factors, such as factors of built and natural environment, socio-economic and demographic factors, trip characteristics, but it also covered often neglected soft factors – psychological. Survey was used as the main strategy of the research collecting user perspective. It was complemented by interviews with the experts in the field of urban mobility. As a result, both quantitative and qualitative primary data was generated. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation and multiple linear regression in SPSS and Excel in order to explain the relationship between the level of bicycle use and a number of travel behaviour factors: built and natural environment, socio-economic and demographic factors, psychological factors and trip characteristics. Based on the concepts of travel behaviour factors, the analysis revealed a number of statistically significant determinants of bicycle use in Rotterdam. The two encouraging factors were bicycle ownership and convenience of cycling to work, while the discouraging factors were the following: long trip distance, positive attitude towards use of other modes of transport for commuting (in particular, car and public transport use), subjective norm (friends and family expectations) towards car use, public transport use and walking to work location. Research findings also indicate the significant share of commuters traveling by train from other cities. It is important to ensure that cycling facilities are well connected with the public transport and commuters-targeted rental programs are available. Additionally, considering the strong influence of subjective norm (especially of friends and family), promotion of cycling among potential target groups could contribute to increasing its share.

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Sharma, S. (Somesh)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Pintusava, H. (Hanna). (2016, September). Commuting by bicycle in Rotterdam: Encouraging and discouraging factors. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/42309