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Research over the past several decades has made it increasingly clear that livable communities are inextricably linked with the provision of opportunities for active and/or non-motorized transportation; i.e., walking, cycling and their variants. An emerging phenomena that is working within the broader movement of active transportation is public bicycle sharing systems (BSS). Such systems have grown considerably in the US in recent years and, in some cases, are dramatically changing the ecology of urban transport. Alongside celebrations of the early successes of US BSS, have been criticisms that these systems have not been adequately integrated into lower-income communities; a pattern that mirrors (motorized) transportation injustices-both past and present-that have burdened lower-income while simultaneously advantaging middle to higher-income communities. And while diverse communities are embracing non-motorized transportation, there is valid concern that traditionally underserved populations will again be marginalized or unable to share in the full benefits of existing and future bicycle- and pedestrian-oriented infrastructure including BSS. This research explores the spatial arrangements and allocations of US BSS and examines the extent to which lower-income communities experience differential access to bike-sharing infrastructure. Spatial regression models are employed to examine the degree to which race, ethnicity and/or economic hardship explain variations in the distribution of bike-sharing stations.

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TRCLC 14-01