The role of human needs in the intention to use conventional and electric bicycle sharing in a driving-oriented country

Sigal Kaplan, Dagmara K. Wrzesinska, Carlo G. Prato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Transforming a driving-oriented region into a bicycle-oriented region would contribute significantly to building healthier and more sustainable communities, but barriers to cycling make this potential transformation untapped. Unlike traditional research taking the “travel behaviour” perspective, this study looked at cycling from the “new mobilities” perspective of travel being not only movement in space and time, but also an experience that leads to emotional well-being and satisfies human needs. Accordingly, this study proposed a behavioural framework to examine the intentions of inhabitants of a driving-oriented region to use conventional and electric bicycles within a hypothetical scenario of a bicycle sharing system. The behavioural framework was designed to assess the relations between intentions and characteristics of travellers in terms of socioeconomic traits, habitual travel, and human needs according to the ERG (existence, relatedness, growth) theory of needs. A web-based survey collected the information necessary to evaluate empirically the framework, and a hybrid bivariate ordered model estimated the hypothesised relations. The findings from the model revealed gender and age differences in the probability of using electric bicycles, as female as well as older respondents were more likely to prefer the technological innovation. Also, the findings from the model showed indeed relations between needs and the intentions to use bicycle sharing schemes: interestingly, while functional and relational needs were associated with a higher likelihood of using both types of bicycle, self-actualisation needs were related to a higher probability of using a conventional bicycle and a lower one of using an electric bicycle. Accordingly, promoting bicycle sharing and more broadly cycling should not only focus on the value of moving from one place to the next, but also on the social and relational value of cycling as well as the self-actualisation potential.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalTransport Policy
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bicycle sharing
  • Conventional bicycles
  • Cycling culture
  • Driving-oriented culture
  • Electric bicycles
  • Human needs


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