Feasibility Assessment of Electric Bicycles in Centre Region, Pennsylvania

In the search for lower-emissions alternatives to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, electric bicycles, or e-bikes, have emerged as a popular option due to their ease of use, comparatively low cost, and extended range when compared with manual bicycles. This study develops a framework for performing a community level feasibility assessment for the adoption and use of e-bikes, particularly as a mode shift away from ICE vehicles. This work assesses the factors of local and state policy, cyclist safety, costs to households, available infrastructure, and costs to the local municipalities, with additional consideration given to the lifecycle of an e-bike and the potential benefits of use to user health through physical activity. We present a case study for Centre Region, Pennsylvania, which includes the Penn State University Park Campus and immediately surrounding municipalities. Findings suggest that the Centre Region is a strong candidate to adopt e-bikes due to planned and recently made improvements to bicycle infrastructure, the low rates of bicycle crashes and related fatalities, and a population largely earning incomes high enough that purchasing an e-bike is not prohibitively expensive.

Monday Poster Session
Emmeline Evans
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