What Makes a Good Cargo Bike Route? Perspectives from Users and Planners

George Liu (Corresponding author), Samuel Nello‐Deakin, Marco te Brömmelstroet, Yuki Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Cargo bikes—bicycles made to carry both goods and people—are becoming increasingly common as an alternative to automobiles in urban areas. With a wider and heavier body, cargo bikes often face problems even in the presence of cycling infrastructure, thus limiting their possibilities of route choice. Infrastructure quality and the route choices of cyclists have been well studied, but often solely based on a quantitative approach, leading to tools such as BLOS (bicycle level of service). With various designs of cargo bikes being used for a wide range of purposes, the route choice of cargo bike users is difficult to generalize. This study combines quantitative and qualitative approaches in order to explore what is important for cargo bike users’ route choice, and how this knowledge can be effectively used for planning. Our results suggest that while some general preferences exist, route choice involves complex dynamics that cannot be fully explained by quantitative measures alone: in addition to understanding “what” is important for cargo bike users, we need to understand “why” it is important. Furthermore, route choice is also influenced by the city context, making a study tailored to the local context essential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-965
Number of pages25
JournalAmerican Journal of Economics and Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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