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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013 May 24;10:66. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-66.

The potential modal shift and health benefits of implementing a public bicycle share program in Montreal, Canada.

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  • 1Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Health Sciences Building, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada. dlf545@mail.usask.ca



This study estimated the modal shift associated with the implementation of a public bicycle share program in Montreal, Canada.


A population-based sample of adults participated in two cross sectional telephone surveys. Self-reported travel behaviors were collected at the end of the first (fall 2009) and second (fall 2010) season of implementation. The sample included 2502 (Mean age=47.8 years, 61.8% female), and 2509 (Mean age=48.9 years, 59.0% female) adult respondents in each survey.


The estimated modal shift associated with the implementation of the PBSP from motor vehicle use to walking, cycling, and public transportation was 6483 and 8023 trips in 2009 and 2010. This change represents 0.34% and 0.43% of all motor vehicle trips in Montreal.


The implementation of a PBSP was associated with a shift toward active transportation. The modal shift was complex and not simply the result of a discrete shift from one mode to another. Promotion of active transportation should encourage integration of multiple active transportation modes to better reflect people's actual transportation behaviors.

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