Exploring the role of bicycle sharing programs in relation to urban transit

Annemiek van Marsbergen, Danique Ton*, Sandra Nijënstein, Jan Anne Annema, Niels van Oort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


In this study a unique bicycle sharing program (BSP) is studied: a BSP initiated by an urban transit provider (buses and trams). The idea is that the combined use of BSPs and buses and trams could increase the catchment area of urban transit alone, therefore offering a more competitive alternative for the car. However, in the scientific literature hardly any knowledge is available regarding to what extent, by whom and how this bicycle – urban transit combination is used. This study explores the so-called ‘HTM-fiets’ programme in The Hague, the Netherlands, operated by urban transit operator HTM. Within the case, data was collected through a survey among the users of this program. The results indicate that, in this case, only 9% of the respondents use HTM-fiets in combination with urban transit. Of bike users who use HTM-fiets as a stand-alone mobility option (i.e. without combining it with transit), 46% have used the HTM-bike as substitute for bus and tram. Our results imply that the transit provider of ‘HTM-fiets’ faces difficult policy choices. The large degree of substitution may negatively influence their business case. However, a large degree of substitution is at the same time not a problem per se for them, because this substitution may alleviate crowding problems in transit and ‘HTM-fiets’ can be seen as an extra service by them offered to people in the Hague to ensure better accessibility of the city. The main lesson would be to focus on an integrated design of BSP and public transport in case a complementary system is aimed for, since our case shows clearly that without an integrated design especially substitution will take place from urban transit to the bicycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-538
Number of pages10
JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Bicycle sharing programs
  • Substitution
  • Urban transit


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