Spanish cities are trying to introduce the use of bicycles in urban transport and create effective policies to increase their use in daily trips. In some cities bike sharing systems have been implemented with success triggering the interest of mobility actors from other cities trying to fill a general lack of information about technical, social and planning aspects related to cycling policies.
In this context, policies that seriously consider to rethink transport systems and increase urban cycling by providing infrastructures, incentives and the necessary conditions to stimulate bicycle use are not common in a country where utilization rates and cycling culture are rather low.
The aim of the project was to identify the explanatory variables of a modal shift toward cycling as well as to design and validate a specific methodology for surveys about bicycle trips in order to develop a specific transport demand model.
The following methodology has been applied:
- Focus groups have been built to identify significant variables: people in small groups discuss the topic under investigation as for instance technical, social and cultural factor influencing the choice to use or not to use the bicycle as urban transport mode;
- Stated preference interviews have been carried out to characterize the potential user of bike, which will be vital to establishing efficient policies that encourage bike use as alternative mode of transport to the motor vehicle and determine the willingness to pay for using different modes of transport in different scenarios.
The municipalities of Santander (Cantabria) and Burgos (Castilla y León) were selected as case studies in which surveys were made in order to validate the methodologies and adjust the demand model. The implementation of a pilot test was also carried out in the Rivas municipality (Madrid).
One of the main results of this research was the compilation of a comprehensive set of key facts, evidences, strategies and recommendations that have been synthetized in a Cycling Policy Guideline for Spanish cities.