IMPACTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON DEMAND OF PUBLIC BIKE SYSTEM AND ITS CORRELATION WITH URBAN LIFE
Keywords: Public Bike System, Share Bike, Cycling, Bike Demand, COVID-19
Abstract. Public bike systems provide the flexibility of bike-usage that users can rent and return a bike freely at any station. The convenience of the bike-travel system, however, may turn into a disadvantage of demand-supply imbalance in the bike inventory. The recent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the mobility demands due to the lockdowns which restrict the business operating hours and transit services. Therefore, investigating the impacts of the pandemic on the urban social life patterns with the bike usage is an important issue for the bike demand prediction and the improvement of the public bike system service.
This research aims to investigate the correlation between the public bike demand and social environment factors during the pandemic applying a multivariate linear regression model to public bike usage data in Seoul, Korea. The results show some promising findings to further promote shared mobility services through policy and marketing strategies. It is noteworthy that the transport disruptions during the pandemic have made a spillover effect from taxi and public transit to bike as an alternative transport mode. The lockdown has restricted the range of activity and resulted in the decrease of the taxi demand, so the number of taxis. On the other hand, the correlations of the geography, meteorology, and date with the bike demand have shown consistency. Therefore, supply of extra bike facilities to improve the system service should be determined based on more accurate demand prediction considering lifecycle-related factors.