The aim of this study is to investigate the factors affecting the acceptability of a bicycle sharing system (BSS) in Mashhad, which is the first BSS to be introduced in Iran. Given the low usage rated of the BSS, we distributed a survey in all stations. 134 users answered the questionnaire. We clustered the potentially relevant factors in five dimensions: Socio-cultural, Economic, Infrastructure, System function and Environmental. We eliminated the Environmental dimension because of invalid loading factors. Next, we evaluated the importance and significance of these factors and the four remaining dimensions for the acceptance of BSS in Mashhad. Furthermore, MANOVA was used to evaluate the relationship between the demographic characteristics and dimensions. The findings indicate that the system is mainly used by young people, students, people with a low-income and those without a vehicle. The results of the evaluations show that all four dimensions are effective, the impact of the Economic dimension being less important than the three other dimensions. The most important factors are the authorities’ use of the system and driving behavior (Socio-cultural dimension), easy use and registration, and proper and timely maintenance (System function) and the availability of bike lanes and suitable bike equipment (Infrastructure). This study is the first attempt to investigate different factors and dimensions important for BSS acceptability in Iran. It can be said that the factors affecting the acceptability of BSS is different in different contexts. Nevertheless, we expect our results to be useful for the design and implementation of BSSs in other cities in Iran, and likely also in other developing countries.
- Bicycle sharing