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PhD Project

Barriers and motivators to bicycle in low cycling maturity cities: Lisbon case study

Cities with low cycling development and maturity are cities with low cycling modal share and little cycling infrastructure of facilities. This research explores the motivators and deterrents for the adoption of cycling in these types of cities by addressing a population that does not bicycle on a regular basis, segmented into different stages of cycling propensity. The underlying objective of this research is to search for leads that can provide knowledge about how to significantly increase bicycle modal share in cities with low cycling maturity. This objective is based on three main questions that this PhD thesis aims to answer:
1) how potential cyclists are defined and identified;
2) how far do perceived barriers for non-cyclists condition their motivation whether or not to bicycle; and
3) what triggers non-cyclists to take up cycling in a city with little cycling infrastructure or facilities.

The research questions led to different approaches for this research. In order to answer the established questions, this research was divided into four major pars with particular methodologies:
a) identification of potential cyclists;
b) exploration of barriers and motivators to bicycle;
c) segmentation and characterization of sub-groups of potential cyclists and modeling their motivations to bicycle in transitional stages of change towards cycling; and finally,
d) assessment of the impact of bicycle infrastructure and equipment on cycling levels of a low cycling maturity city.

PhD Rosa Félix

More info

Rosa Félix

PhD Researcher

Filipe Moura


Kelly J. Clifton



Cycling · Barriers and motivators · Modal choice · Travel behavior · Low cycling maturity cities


This research is supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), through the Ph.D. grant PD/BD/105719/2014.