Analysis of Perceptions of Utilitarian Cycling by Level of User Experience
The assessment of factors influencing people in making their modal choice in favor of bicycles varies significantly depending on the user’s experience: a daily user, a recreational user or an infrequent or non-user. A study conducted in Madrid at the main university campus among more than 3,000 people (including students, teachers and non-teaching staff) verified these differences empirically. Overall, frequent users give lesser importance to the barriers identified as crucial by infrequent and non-users. Reversely, a better assessment of the positive characteristics of cycling increases with use: the more cycling is used, the more positive is the perception of cycling. And even more noticeable are the differences that can be observed among the purposes for using bicycles. Those who only cycle for leisure or sports purposes value benefits about a half of what commuting users do. Noteworthy is the difference between occasional users, who cycle only for recreational and sports purposes, compared with those who, without ceasing to be occasional users due to the low frequency of use, cycle for systematic purposes, then commuting on an infrequent basis. The pattern of their ratings is very similar to frequent users, differing markedly from the users for non commuting purposes. Likewise, frequent users perceive other factors as barriers: for example the lack of complementary facilities or theft risk. Based on these results, the paper emphasizes the importance of guiding urban cycling policies toward measures that promote trying out the bicycle in urban environments through programs specifically directed towards recreational and non-users.
Rondinella, G., Fernández-Heredia, Á., & Monzón, A. (2012). Analysis of Perceptions of Utilitarian Cycling by Level of User Experience. In Transportation Research Board 91st Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=1129213