Modelling the obstacles to using bicycle sharing systems in the Tehran metropolis: A structural analysis


bicycle sharing systems
structural-interpretive modelling
MICMAC analysis
Tehran metropolis

How to Cite

Akbari, M., Zarghamfard, M., Hajisharifi, A., Entekhabi, S. A., & Goodarzipour, S. (2022). Modelling the obstacles to using bicycle sharing systems in the Tehran metropolis: A structural analysis. Quaestiones Geographicae, 41(2), 109–124.


The main objective of the current research is to identify and prioritise the obstacles to using bicycle sharing systems (BSSs) in the Tehran metropolis. The methodology of this research is analytical-descriptive and it aims to achieve applied goals. To do so, firstly the obstacles are identified through studying the theoretical and practical foundations of the issue and then by delving into factors associated with BSSs in the Tehran metropolis, extracting them through the content validity method. Then, the interrelations among the specified obstacles and their impact and effectiveness are determined through structural and MICMAC modelling. The data collection tool employed in the research assumes the forms of a survey and a face-to-face interview. According to the results, the following variables are among the ones associated with obstacles having the maximum impact on other obstacles: the financial problems and the disparity within the municipal management, culturalisation, educational shortage and negligence in using the participatory capacities of civilians. Before executing and taking any other strategy to overcome the obstacles, the forthcoming model supports Tehran metropolis municipal managers to identify the existent obstacles of the field in order to enable them to utilise a suitable approach as to lodging BSSs.


Akar G., Fischer N., Namgung M., 2013. Bicycling choice and gender case study: The Ohio State University. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 7(5): 347-365.

Arsenio E., Ribeiro P., 2015. The economic assessment of health benefits of active transport. Sustainable Urban Transport (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley: 1-22. DOI

Bachand-Marleau J., Lee B.H., El-Geneidy A.M., 2012. Better understanding of factors influencing likelihood of using shared bicycle systems and frequency of use. Journal of Transportation Research Record 2314(1): 66-71.

Barbour N., Zhang Y., Mannering F., 2019. A statistical analysis of bike sharing usage and its potential as an auto-trip substitute. Journal of Transport & Health 12: 253-262.

Beroud B., Clavel R., Le Vine S., 2010. Perspectives on the growing market for public bicycles focus on France and the United Kingdom. In European Transport Conference, Glasgow, Scotland.

Buck D., Buehler R., Happ P., Rawls B., Chung P., Borecki N., 2013. Are bikeshare users different from regular cyclists? A first look at short-term users, annual members, and area cyclists in the Washington, DC, region. Journal of Transportation Research Record 2387(1): 112-119.

Caggiani L., Camporeale R., Hamidi Z., Zhao C., 2021. Evaluating the efficiency of bike-sharing stations with data envelopment analysis. Sustainability 13(2): 881. DOI

Caggiani L., Colovic A., Ottomanelli M., 2020. An equality-based model for bike-sharing stations location in bicycle-public transport multimodal mobility. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 140, 251-265.

Cozens P.M., Saville G., Hillier D., 2005. Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED): A review and modern bibliography. Property Management 23(5): 328-356.

De Geus B., De Smet S., Nijs J., Meeusen R., 2007. Determining the intensity and energy expenditure during commuter cycling. British Journal of Sports Medicine 41(1): 8-12.

DeMaio P., 2009. Bike-sharing: History, impacts, models of provision, and future. Journal of Public Transportation 12(4): 41-56.

Dill J., Voros K., 2007. Factors affecting bicycling demand: Initial survey findings from the Portland, Oregon, region. Journal of Transportation Research Record 2031(1): 9-17.

Faghih-Imani A., Eluru N., El-Geneidy A.M., Rabbat M., Haq U., 2014. How land-use and urban form impact bicycle flows: Evidence from the bicycle-sharing system (BIXI) in Montreal. Journal of Transport Geography 41: 306-314.

Faghih-Imani A., Hampshire R., Marla L., Eluru N., 2017. An empirical analysis of bike sharing usage and rebalancing: Evidence from Barcelona and Seville. Journal of Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 97: 177-191.

Fishman E., Böcker L., Helbich M., 2015. Adult active transport in the Netherlands: An analysis of its contribution to physical activity requirements. PLoS One 10(4): e0121871.

Fishman E., Schepers P., 2016. Global bike share: What the data tells us about road safety. Journal of Safety Research 56: 41-45.

Forsyth A., Krizek K.J., Agrawal A.W., Stonebraker E., 2012. Reliability testing of the Pedestrian and Bicycling Survey (PABS) method. Journal of Physical Activity Health 9(5): 677-688.

Fraser S.D., Lock K., 2011. Cycling for transport and public health: A systematic review of the effect of the environment on cycling. European Journal of Public Health 21(6): 738-743.

Fuller D., Gauvin L., Kestens Y., Daniel M., Fournier M., Morency P., Drouin L., 2013. Impact evaluation of a public bicycle share program on cycling: A case example of BIXI in Montreal. Quebec. American Journal of Public Health 103(3): e85-e92.

Gharib F., 2004. Feasibility study of creating pedestrian and bicycle paths in the area of old Tehran. Honarhaye Ziba Journal 19(19): 17-28.

Ghoreishi S.M., 2015. The assessment of the utility and effectiveness of the biking plan for the citizens of the region 8 of the city of Tehran. Journal of Urban Management Studies 7(22): 31-44.

Goodman A., Cheshire J., 2014. Inequalities in the London bicycle sharing system revisited: Impacts of extending the scheme to poorer areas but then doubling prices. Journal of Transport Geography 41: 272-279.

Gregerson J., Hepp-Buchanan M., Rowe D., Sluis J.V., Wygonik E., Xenakis M., McCormack E., 2011. Seattle bicycle share feasibility study. University of Washington, College of Built Environment, Department of Urban Planning and Design. Online:

Guidon S., Becker H., Dediu H., Axhausen K.W., 2019. Electric bicycle-sharing: A new competitor in the urban transportation market? An empirical analysis of transaction data. Journal of Transportation Research Record 2673(4): 15-26.

Harms L., Bertolini L., Te Brömmelstroet M., 2014. Spatial and social variations in cycling patterns in a mature cycling country exploring differences and trends. Journal of Transport & Health 1(4): 232-242.

Hataminejad H., Ashrafi Y., 2010. The role of the bicycle in urban sustainable transportation. Journal of Human Geography Research 42(1): 1-125.

Jensen P., Rouquier J.B., Ovtracht N., Robardet C., 2010. Characterizing the speed and paths of shared bicycle use in Lyon. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 15(8): 522-524.

Johnson D., El-Defrawy S.R., Hollands S., Hurst J., Law C., Li C., Baxter S., de LP Campbell E., Campbell R.J., 2016. Drug-prescribing patterns among optometrists and nonophthalmologist physicians at a tertiary care center in Kingston, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology 51(3): 168-173.

Ji S., Cherry C.R., Han L.D., Jordan D.A., 2014. Electric bike sharing: Simulation of user demand and system availability. Journal of Cleaner Production 85: 250-257.

Kaltenbrunner A., Meza R., Grivolla J., Codina J., Banchs R., 2010. Urban cycles and mobility patterns: Exploring and predicting trends in a bicycle-based public transport system. Journal of Pervasive and Mobile Computing 6(4): 455-466.

Kaplan D.H., Knowles M.J., 2015. Developing a next-generation campus bike-share program: Examining demand and supply factors. Journal of Planning for Higher Education 44(1): 63-75.

Karami S., Hajisharifi A., Zarghamfard M., Armaqan S., 2021. Structural analysis of factors affecting the housing in Tabriz metropolis: A future study approach. International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print. DOI

Legros B., 2019. Dynamic repositioning strategy in a bike-sharing system; how to prioritize and how to rebalance a bike station. European Journal of Operational Research 272(2): 740-753.

Levy N., Golani C., Ben-Elia E., 2019. An exploratory study of spatial patterns of cycling in Tel Aviv using passively generated bike-sharing data. Journal of Transport Geography 76: 325-334.

Li L.H., Chen H., Sun X.L., 2009. Bike rental station deployment planning in Wuhan. Urban Transport of China 7(4): 39-44.

Lindsey C., Mahmassani H.S., Mullarkey M., Nash T., Rothberg S., 2014. Regional logistics hubs, freight activity and industrial space demand: Econometric analysis. Research Transportation Business & Management 11: 98-104.

Litman T., 2009. Transportation cost and benefit analysis. Victoria Transport Policy Institute 31: 1-9.

Lu W., Scott D.M., Dalumpines R., 2018. Understanding bike share cyclist route choice using GPS data: Comparing dominant routes and shortest paths. Journal of Transport Geography 71: 172-181.

Maas S., Nikolaou P., Attard M., Dimitriou L., 2020. Examining spatio-temporal trip patterns of bicycle sharing systems in Southern European Island Cities. Research in Transportation Economics 86: 100992.

Maizlish N., Woodcock J., Co S., Ostro B., Fanai A., Fairley D., 2013. Health cobenefits and transportation-related reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the San Francisco Bay area. American Journal of Public Health 103(4): 703-709.

Malekhoseini A., Dargahi M., Hajisharifi A., 2012. Investigating the factors influencing the use of common bicycles in urban transportation case study of Haft-Hose and Madayen Quarters in District 8 (Tehran City). Journal of Zag Landscape 4(11): 159-179.

Meshkini A., Zarghamfard M., Kahaki F.A., 2021. Comparative study of the right to the city in Iran. GeoJournal: 1-18. DOI

Midgley P., 2011. Bicycle-sharing schemes: Enhancing sustainable mobility in urban areas. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs 8: 1-2.

Murgante B., Sani M.E., Pishgahi S., Zarghamfard M., Kahaki F., 2021. Factors affecting the lut desert tourism in Iran: Developing an interpretive-structural model. Sustainability 13(13): 7245.

Parkes SD., Marsden G., Shaheen S.A., Cohen A.P., 2013. Understanding the diffusion of public bikesharing systems: Evidence from Europe and North America. Journal of Transport Geography 31: 94-103.

Pucher J., Buehler R., Bassett D.R., Dannenberg A.L., 2010. Walking and cycling to health: A comparative analysis of city, state, and international data. American Journal of Public Health 100(10): 1986-1992.

Saneinejad S., Roorda M.J., Kennedy C., 2012. Modelling the impact of weather conditions on active transportation travel behavior. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 17(2): 129-137.

Schoner J., Levinson D.M., 2013. Which station? Access trips and bike share route choice. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. Online:

Schoner J.E., Levinson D.M., 2014. The missing link: Bicycle infrastructure networks and ridership in 74 US Cities. Transportation 41(6): 1187-1204.

Sears J., Flynn B.S., Aultman-Hall L., Dana G.S., 2012. To bike or not to bike: Seasonal factors for bicycle commuting. Transportation Research Record 2314(1): 105-111.

Shaheen S.A., Guzman S., Zhang H., 2010. Bikesharing in Europe, the Americas, and Asia: Past, present, and future. Transportation Research Record 2143(1): 159-167.

Shaheen S.A., Martin E.W., Cohen A.P., Chan N.D. Pogodzinski M., 2014. Public bikesharing in North America during a period of rapid expansion: Understanding business models, industry trends & user impacts. MTI Report 12-29. Online:

Spencer P., Watts R., Vivanco L., Flynn B., 2013. The effect of environmental factors on bicycle commuters in Vermont: Influences of a northern climate. Journal of Transport Geography 31: 11-17. DOI

Sturm R., Cohen D.A., 2004. Suburban sprawl and physical and mental health. Public Health 118(7): 488-496.

Sun Y., Mobasheri A., Hu X., Wang W., 2017. Investigating impacts of environmental factors on the cycling behavior of bicycle-sharing users. Sustainability 9(6): 1060.

Swiers R., Pritchard C., Gee I., 2017. A cross sectional survey of attitudes, behaviours, barriers and motivators to cycling in University students. Journal of Transport & Health 6: 379-385.

Taddei C., Gnesotto R., Forni S., Bonaccorsi G., Vannucci A., Garofalo G., 2015. Cycling promotion and non-communicable disease prevention: Health impact assessment and economic evaluation of cycling to work or school in Florence. PLoS One 10(4): e0125491.

Wang X., Lindsey G., Schoner J.E., Harrison A., 2016. Modeling bike share station activity: Effects of nearby businesses and jobs on trips to and from stations. Journal of Urban Planning and Development 142(1): 04015001.

Wareham N.J., Van Sluijs E.M., Ekelund U., 2005. Physical activity and obesity prevention: A review of the current evidence. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 64(2): 229- 247.

Woodcock J., Givoni M., Morgan A.S., 2013. Health impact modelling of active travel visions for England and Wales using an Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling Tool (ITHIM). PLoS One 8(1): e51462.

Woodcock J., Tainio M., Cheshire J., O’Brien O., Goodman A., 2014. Health effects of the London bicycle sharing system: Health impact modelling study. BMJ 348.

Xiong P., 2010. Park and ride behaviors for non-local private car travelers in big events. Journal of Transportation Systems Engineering and Information Technology 10(5): 188-193.

Yang M., Zacharias J., 2016. Potential for revival of the bicycle in Beijing. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 10(6): 517-527.

Zarghamfard M., Meshkini A., 2021. Analysis of factors affecting the realization of right to adequate housing in Iran: Developing an interpretive-structural model. International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis 15(2): 411-428. DOI

Zarghamfard M., Meshkini A., Pourahmad, A., Murgante, B., 2019. The pathology of housing policies in Iran: A criterion-based analysis. International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis 13(3): 453-473. DOI 10.1108/IJH-MA-06-2019-0066.

Zhang Y., 2011. Evaluating performance of bicycle sharing system in Wuhan, China (master's thesis). University of Twente, the Netherlands.

Zhao C., Nielsen T.A., Olafsson A.S., Carstensen T.A., Meng X., 2018. Urban form, demographic and socio-economic correlates of walking, cycling, and e-biking: Evidence from eight neighborhoods in Beijing. Transport Policy 64: 102-112.

Zuurbier M., Willems J., Schaap I., Van der Zee S., Hoek G., 2019. The contribution of moped emissions to ultrafine and fine particle concentrations on bike lanes. Science of the Total Environment 686: 191-198.