Science and Technology

Study carried out at Técnico highlighted by National Geographic

The National Geographic Portuguese magazine (January edition), includes a report on GIRA - the first shared bike service in Lisbon, based on a study carried out at Técnico.

The study developed by Rosa Félix and Filipe Moura, researchers at the Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability (CERIS –IST) was highlighted by National Geographic Portuguese magazine. This study was commissioned by EMEL and focuses on the socio-economic externalities of bike sharing in Lisbon, analyzing about 1 million trips. We wanted to know more about this study and its conclusions.

“This study sought to quantify the carbon emissions and polluting gases that have been avoided by people taking trips on GIRA bikes, as well as the time and money saved (compared to other modes of transport) and the medium and long-term health effects”, explains Rosa Félix. To this end, the researchers used data from registered trips and a survey of 5,000 GIRA bike users, aimed to understand whether the use of GIRA bicycles has replaced the use of another modes of transport or not.

According to the two Técnico researchers, the advantages of using these bikes clearly outweigh the disadvantages. Most users prefer electric bikes to regular bikes. Almost a third of people prefer not to take the car to the city and use GIRA bikes. On average, each bike ride lasts about 11 minutes.

“Globally, GIRA has reduced about 1.5 M € resulting from the reduction of atmospheric emissions, the reduction of impacts on health and road safety”, stressed Rosa Félix. “In addition to these cost savings, we should emphasize the € 42,000 in direct savings to users and the € 711,000 in time saved, compared to the other modes of transport”, she adds. “The study shows that 29% of people stopped using their cars and started to use a bike. 21% of people prefer to ride a bike instead of using Metro and only 12% use a bike instead of walking”.

As to the prominence given to the study, the CERIS researcher says “it will help to disseminate the conclusions of the study to a wider public. It is very important to disseminate the results of our studies to other audiences, and National Geographic was able to produce a very detailed infographics, easy to understand”.