Utilizing multi-stage behavior change theory to model the process of bike share adoption

Alec Biehl, Alireza Ermagun, Amanda Stathopoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This paper studies bike share adoption decisions as a dynamic change process from early contemplation to consolidated user status. This runs counter to the typical representation of mode adoption decisions as an instantaneous shift from pre to post usage. A two-level nested logit model that draws from the stage-of-change framework posited by the Transtheoretical Model is developed to study the adoption process. Using survey data collected from an online U.S. sample (n = 910), the model illustrates how personal, psychosocial, and community-oriented factors influence the probability of transitioning between different levels of readiness to participate in a bike share scheme. The findings suggest that encouraging forward movement in the contemplation-use ladder requires tailored, stage-specific interventions that are likely be overlooked if instead a one-size-fits-all psychological theory is applied to investigate travel behavior. In particular, the intermediate stages encapsulate more flexible (i.e. less habitual) orientation among respondents. Among the explanatory variables, the pronounced elasticities for active travel identity formation and norm integration are especially significant for crafting policies that influence bike share membership decisions. This paper adds to the nascent literature on the behavioral foundations of shared mobility adoption. The findings are translated to practical interventions, from operations to design and community-initiatives to guide practitioners seeking to promote bike share. The stage-based adoption representation helps to align interventions across the spectrum of user readiness to translate intention into behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-45
Number of pages16
JournalTransport Policy
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Bike share
  • Discrete choice model
  • Factor analysis
  • Segmentation
  • Stages of change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


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