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The Impact of Cargo Bikes on the Travel Patterns of Women

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: Research has shown that disparity continues to exists between women and men in cycling behavior, with woman cycling at far lower rates. Cargo bikes have been suggested as one tool to increase the gender balance in ridership. The research evaluates that suggestion through a) gender-focused analysis of survey data regarding cargo bikes use; b) extended open-ended interviews with mothers with cargo bikes. Qualitative and quantitative data from surveys and interviews explore the influence of cargo bikes on transportation patterns and follow how behavior, attitude, spatial context, and perception varies between riders. Specific attention is given to the use of cargo bikes by women with children, as this demographic represents a minority group in the bicycle community and a group who could benefit most from the capabilities of a cargo bike design. Results show that mode substitution behavior from the automobile to the cargo bike is geographically and culturally specific, but that women are receptive to cargo bike use. This demonstrates a powerful tool to influence the travel patterns of current and future commuters to shift away from automobile dependency–one that should be considered as a part of bicycle promotion policies, programs and incentives.

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