This study explores the impact of bicycle-sharing infrastructure on urban transportation. We estimate a causal effect of the Capital Bikeshare on traffic congestion in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. We exploit a unique traffic dataset that is finely defined on a spatial and temporal scale. Our approach examines within-city commuting decisions as opposed to traffic patterns on major thruways. Empirical results suggest that the availability of a bikeshare reduces traffic congestion upwards of 4% within a neighborhood. In addition, we estimate heterogeneous treatment effects using panel quantile regression. Results indicate that the congestion-reducing impact of bikeshares is concentrated in highly congested areas.

Document Type

Post-print Article

Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. Article first published online: January 2018.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2017.03.007

The definitive version is available at:

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.

Full citation:

Hamilton, Timothy L., and Casey J. Wichman. “Bicycle Infrastructure and Traffic Congestion: Evidence from DC’s Capital Bikeshare.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 87 (January 2018): 72-93.