Why transit needs bikes

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
By Yokota Fritz


Yesterday, Alan wrote a thoughtful post at EcoVelo entitled "Why bicyclists need transit."
Even though transit may not currently be on your radar, that could change overnight, and you may find yourself depending upon a bus or train in combination with your bicycle to get yourself to work everyday.
Alan points out that the incomplete transit networks in the USA require huge park and ride lots to connect transit to the sprawling highway networks typical of American development. Like Alan, I'm a multi-modal commuter, using my bicycle to get me the last mile (actually 3.5 miles) from the train station to my office. Bikes complement transit very effectively.

Carlos and his fixed Triax
I think he got the title of his post backwards though: transit needs bicycles. Here are several fer instances... I'm encouraged by the appointment of Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager to the Caltrain board. He's a bike commuter who understands that transit needs bikes. He's already stated publicly that he believes Caltrain should encourage even more bike use in order increase fare box revenue.

Book: Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen.


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Comments:
$200,000 will buy four lots, or four spots?
 
About four parking spots. Aagh, I really need to double check my writing, don't I? I'll fix it now.
 
http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/02/06/caltrain-will-boost-bicycle-capacity-but-its-still-not-enough/
 
Amusingly my office is in the deadzone just outside the radii of Lawrence and Santa Clara
 
Taking my bike on CalTrain means I can run errands from work at lunchtime that I just couldn't do if I left a car or bike parked at the station at the home end of my commute.

Biking and transit by themselves have pretty obvious limitations, but the combo gives you the same flexibility you get from driving.
 
@murph -- and your location isn't the most bike friendly in the world.

@295 -- Yes indeed! In my case, I keep spare bikes at the office for days like today when I took a shuttle from Caltrain to work. Google has their blue bikes. Not everybody has this option, of course.
 
all the more reason for bike, walk, and transit groups to coalesce/unify and form one bigger, more powerful union.

i'm not holding my breath.
 
I think you mean "This solution is *not* practical"
 
I think lobbying to tie mass transit funding to parallel HPV paths is the way to go. I've come to this conclusion based on the assumption that, at some point, bikes on board trains/buses becomes less efficient than riding on a continuous pathway parallel to the transit line.
 
In the Federal Transit Administration's pamphlet from 1999 titled "Bicycles & Transit," the benefits to transit providers are listed:
-Attracts new transit riders
-Expands catchment area
-Distances that are too far to walk are short by bike
-Bicyclists represent an important weekend or off-peak market
-Providing bike parking is cheaper than auto parking

http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/FTA_Bicycles_and_Transit_Booklet_1999.pdf
 
That's a good find, Steve. Thank you.
 
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