UBC Undergraduate Research

Cycle Works : Barriers and Solutions for Students Biking to UBC Okkels, Anna; Orallo, Cayden; Wong, Michelle; Poquiz, Rachael; Copping, Simone


The University of British Columbia (UBC) has been monitoring active transportation to and from campus since 1997. Cycling to the UBC campus was in its peak 20 years ago, however in recent years cycling to campus has been making a comeback in popularity due to efforts guided by UBC’s Transportation Plan. Cycle Works is a study designed by UBC students in the faculty of Kinesiology to help develop and implement interventions that enable UBC students increased accessibility to biking to campus. The target population was UBC students who drive individually to campus because they get the least amount of exercise in comparison to other forms of transportation and have the most harmful impact on the environment by car emissions (UBC, 2014). Data was collected through an online Qualtrics survey to ask students of UBC to investigate the potential barriers students face cycling to UBC. Participants were recruited by sharing the survey on UBC student groups and social media platforms. The survey consisted of 18 questions, 5 open-ended questions to ensure qualitative data, this way having a more personal response. The questions consisted of geographic location and climate at UBC, concerns on bike thefts, personal health and safety riding in traffic and on campus, hygiene and comfort, and lastly the built environment on UBC. Complications arose while recruiting participants for the study due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Originally, we were to recruit people by handing out brochures a link to the online survey. However, due to the social responsibility of practicing social distancing, recruitment was done online. In order to try to mitigate the challenge of having reduced access to participants we posted our survey to more platforms on social media, asked more peers we knew at UBC and asked them to ask their friends who drove to UBC to also take the survey. The key statistical findings from our survey on barriers to cycling to UBC were distance to campus, concerns of bike theft, physical safety in traffic and the convenience of driving. The barriers found in our survey to be most influential on a student’s decision to drive over bike to campus guided our goals and proposed programs of Cycle Works. The three primary goals determined from our results to make cycling a more viable option on campus are SEE; safety, efficiency, and education. Cycle Works recommends implementing specific, broad bike lanes on campus, security cameras to help prevent bikes from getting stolen, maps to show efficient bike routes, and to broadcast the biking resources available to UBC students on social media platforms. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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