‘I WANT TO HIRE MY BICYCLE, I WANT TO HIRE MY BIKE’ ANALYSING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DRIVERS OF STUDENTS’ INTENTION TO USE BIKE HIRE SCHEMES AS A SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION

N. Rodriguez-Priego, L. Porcu

University of Granada (SPAIN)
Bike sharing schemes have evolved throughout last decades, becoming nowadays widely used in cities that are concerned and committed to environmental sustainability, but also as a healthier mode of transportation. Moreover, Universities around Europe have joined this movement in an attempt to reduce the ecological footprint of their users, meaning students as well as staff.

Likewise, academic research related with attitudes, perceptions and bicyclist characteristics have evolved progressively. The role of attitudes on travel behavior has been previously examined. Furthermore, there are a few studies analyzing the influence of psychological variables related with the Theory of Planned Behavior on bicycling behavior.

However, the academic literature lacks empirical research on the use of bike hire schemes as a more sustainable mode of transportation that makes bicycling accessible without the need of owning a bicycle and without prior knowledge about the required maintenance. Therefore, our article aims to fill this research gap.

In the present paper, we aim to examine the impact of the main psychological factors influencing students´ behavioral intention to use a bike sharing scheme as a more sustainable way of transportation. Hence, this study consists of an attempt to model the antecedents of bike hiring behavioral intention and it explores the psychological factors that determine it.
In order to achieve the mentioned objectives, Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has been extended by including the variable ‘perceived consumer effectiveness’, meaning the perceived capability to reduce environmental impact when using the hire scheme mentioned.

A survey was conducted, from May through August 2011, to a sample of students, faculties and support staff at the University of Granada. The questionnaire focused on ENbici, a bike hire scheme that has been recently implemented and that has four hiring hubs located in the main campuses. Since only one hundred (out of approximately 85.000) people is engaged with the ENbici bikes´ hiring, the results have so far been fairly disappointing. In order to understand this behavior, our research addresses the main factors that are likely to lead individuals to use the hire scheme and the main barriers that would dissuade them.
Hierarchical multiple regression was conducted in two steps in order to observe the difference between TPB and the model proposed.

The results corroborate the positive influence of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and perceived consumer effectiveness on behavioral intention, improving the percentage of variance explained when adding the last variable.