UBC Undergraduate Research

UBC HOPR Bike Share Program : What can student-reported experiences and barriers tell us about the accessibility and convenience of HOPR Bike bike share on UBC campus? Helmke, Pauline; LaGrange, Payton; McDonnell, Garrin; Purewal, Ryan; Rodger, Colton


Bike share programs such as HOPR offer a convenient, flexible and affordable method of active transport. HOPR Bike Share caters to the 66,000+ students who currently attend the University of British Columbia at their Vancouver campus, and has done so since their introduction in 2019. Commuting to work or school by bike, rather than a vehicle, has been shown to improve overall health status and fulfillment of the recommended 150+ minutes of weekly physical activity. Previous research has noted that limitations to commuting via bike include weather conditions, lack of affordability, payment options, as well as restricted bike share parking spots. The aim of this project was to identify the barriers that limit usage of HOPR bike share, and propose recommendations for how to increase the accessibility of bike sharing programs on campus. The results will hopefully offer useful insights to HOPR bike share and may help them expand their user base on campus. Participants completed an online survey through Qualtrics consisting of 19 close-ended questions (with the option to add more information) regarding demographics, participant familiarity with HOPR bike share, physical activity, transportation habits, and perceived barriers to use of HOPR. 1 open-ended question was proposed to participants to share their thoughts and/or recommendations concerning the HOPR bike share program. Through the survey, we received 42 participants, 39 of which were included in our analysis. Potential participants were incentivized with the option to be included in a prize draw. Only a quarter of our participants had a history of HOPR usage, and a large number of non-users were unfamiliar with docking stations as well as the inability to take the bikes off campus. The current and past HOPR users in our study were mostly white, male students, which mirrors prior research findings on bike share programs. Overall, the sample population reported that a lack of familiarity with HOPR was a key barrier to usage, as well as restricted docking stations, cost, limited payment options, not being able to take the bikes off campus, and poor climate conditions in Vancouver. Our recommendations pertain to pricing, accessibility, and awareness. This could mean including subsidies for HOPR memberships, including different bike models, and increasing awareness of the service through advertising. The main limitations to our study include sampling bias and lack of generalizability. Convenience sampling yielded an overrepresentation of Kinesiology students, which does not allow for the results of the study to be generalized to the entire student population. Participant burden was indicated as several participants did not complete every question properly, leaving questions blank or failing to answer within specified text boxes. For the purpose of further research, we recommend distributing the questionnaire to all faculties in order to obtain a more representative sample. 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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