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Is Bicycle Sharing an Environmental Practice? Evidence from a Life Cycle Assessment Based on Behavioral Surveys

by 1,2, 1,2,3,*, 1,2 and 4,5
1
State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
2
Department of Industrial and System Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
3
National Institute of Innovation Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
4
Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
5
School of Public Policy and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1550; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061550
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
As an icon of sharing economy and product service systems, bicycle sharing is gaining an increasing global popularity, yet there is little knowledge about the environmental performance of this emerging traveling mode. To seek the answer to the question, the paper employs a survey-based method and a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. We first conduct a questionnaire-based survey to identify the changes in traveling modes after the introduction of shared bicycles. The survey results show that the use of shared bicycles is more popular among young and low-income populations, and shared bicycles are predominantly used to replace walking and bus-taking. Based on the survey results, we model the environmental impacts of the changed traveling behaviors and the life cycle of shared bicycle with the aid of Gabi software. The LCA results shows that bicycle sharing is currently an environmentally friendly practice, as it brings environmental savings in all the indicators except metal consumption. Further, the results of sensitivity analysis show that aging, rising rental fees, and increasing volume of shared bicycles would impart negative impacts on the environmental performance of bicycle sharing. The findings of this work facilitate the management and development of bicycle sharing. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; bicycle sharing; traveling mode; environmental impact; sustainability life cycle assessment; bicycle sharing; traveling mode; environmental impact; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zheng, F.; Gu, F.; Zhang, W.; Guo, J. Is Bicycle Sharing an Environmental Practice? Evidence from a Life Cycle Assessment Based on Behavioral Surveys. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1550. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061550

AMA Style

Zheng F, Gu F, Zhang W, Guo J. Is Bicycle Sharing an Environmental Practice? Evidence from a Life Cycle Assessment Based on Behavioral Surveys. Sustainability. 2019; 11(6):1550. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061550

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zheng, Fanying; Gu, Fu; Zhang, Wujie; Guo, Jianfeng. 2019. "Is Bicycle Sharing an Environmental Practice? Evidence from a Life Cycle Assessment Based on Behavioral Surveys" Sustainability 11, no. 6: 1550. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061550

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