Date of Award

August 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Member

Babur De los Santos

Committee Member

Matthew Lewis

Committee Member

Christy Zhou

Committee Member

F. Andrew Hanssen


The rapid rise of rental bikes and limited understanding of their impacts has fuelled public interest in how bike renting systems impact consumers. As the critical and most rapidly developed part of the bike renting system, the dockless bike renting system merits a study for its welfare analysis. In addition, the transmission of COVID-19 has greatly changed people’s behavior and the usage pattern of bike renting systems. This study aims to determine the consumer surplus created by dockless bike renting firms in Washington, D.C., during the normal year and how the COVID-19 pandemic and policy affect the demand of the bike renting system. This dissertation uses a discrete choice model to estimate demand and calculate the changes in consumer surplus for riders if there are no dockless bike renting systems in the market. What is more, a difference in difference model is used to explore the effect of COVID-19 shocks and restriction policy in Washington D.C. The results show that firstly, riders would walk additional 637 meters more to reduce the cost of 1 dollar of renting a bike. Secondly, price elasticity indicates riders for docking bike is less sensitive to price than other dockless device users. Thirdly, the upper bond of consumer surplus created by the dockless bike renting system is 0.897 dollars per trip or compensated 1.1 million dollars for all trips per month if all dockless devices are removed from the market. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively influences the demand for docking bike riders. Lastly, policy restrictions might positively or negatively influence the demand for bike renting systems based on the docking stations’ location characteristics.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.