Deakin University

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The public bicycle-sharing scheme in Brisbane, Australia: evaluating the influence of its introduction on changes in time spent cycling amongst a middle- and older-age population

journal contribution
posted on 2018-09-01, 00:00 authored by E Heinen, M D Kamruzzaman, Gavin Turrell
Background: Active travel may improve individual health as it contributes to higher levels of physical activity, particularly in an aging society. Bicycle-sharing schemes may contribute to public health by encouraging active travel. Aim: To investigate whether exposure to a bicycle-sharing scheme—measured as residential proximity to a bicycle station—was associated with the propensity to use it. Second, we aimed to study the extent to which exposure to the scheme was associated with a change in time spent cycling. Method: In this natural-experimental study, we analysed a large panel of residents in Brisbane, Australia, who were surveyed before and after the introduction of a bicycle-sharing scheme in 2010. Data were collected as part of the HABITAT study, a multilevel longitudinal investigation of physical activity and health among ‘baby boomers’ (persons aged 40–65). Data were collected in 2009 (n = 7866), 2011 (n = 6900), and 2013 (n = 6520). Two self-reported outcome variables were examined: (1) a stages-of-change variable measuring the likelihood of using the scheme and the intention to use it in the future, and (2) change in time spent cycling between 2009 and 2013. Results: In the unadjusted model, proximity was significantly associated with stages of change, but became non-significant after adjustment. Moreover, higher levels of exposure to the intervention did not predict a change in time spent cycling. Younger respondents and respondents with a higher education level were more likely to consider using the bicycle-sharing scheme. Individuals who had a college degree were more likely to have used this scheme. Conclusion: Residential proximity to a bicycle-sharing station was not found to be associated with the use of the bicycle-sharing scheme nor did its introduction significantly predict an increase in time spent cycling. Other interventions may be more supportive of increasing cycling in the baby boomer cohort, and, thereby, improving their overall health.



Journal of transport and health




56 - 73




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2018, Elsevier Ltd.