3-8: Exploring E-bikes in the Era of Electrification: Towards a More Sustainable and Equitable Transportation System
|Principal Investigator||Ipek Sener|
|Final Report (DOI)||Available Soon|
|Policy Brief||Available Soon|
Innovative technologies have entered our lives, promising a safer, greener, and more affordable future of transportation, with electrification at the heart of this transformation. While increasing electrification is vital, further steps are needed to expand its benefits in terms of reducing congestion and promoting sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation for all. In this respect, the primary objective of this study is to deepen our understanding of the barriers, concerns and needs associated with electric bikes (e-bikes). Apart from being a sustainable and active mode of transportation, bicycling has quickly emerged as one of the safest transportation modes in the face of the pandemic. The popularity of bicycling has grown even more when it comes to e-bikes, owing to their potential to improve a person’s ability to ride a bike over longer distances, on steeper grades, and/or despite physical disabilities or limitations that might otherwise be a barrier to using a bicycle. On the other hand, bicycling has faced with significant challenges in terms its equitable and safe access. For instance, many bike-share services have limited types of bikes, which may not be suitable for individuals with disabilities. Studies also noted the lack of diversity in the demographic distribution of bikeshare users, which has raised equity concerns. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this study will explore challenges associated with the access to and use of e-bikes whether they are part of shared micromobility services or personally owned vehicles. A specific focus will be given to marginalized populations—particularly those with disabilities and elderly people—while also capturing racial/social inequities. Case studies will be conducted to examine differences in travel environments, distinctions between driver and non-driver populations as well as users and non-users. The research will help identify strategies to enhance safe and equitable access to new mobilities while reducing congestion.