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October 25, 2012

Transit going the extra mile to accommodate cyclists

by Nicole Schlosser

I started noticing about six months ago that more transportation agencies seemed to be taking measures to provide more and/or better accessibility to bikers.

In August, responding to customer requests for bike access at train stations, NJ Transit made some trains “bike-friendly” on weekends and made other improvements in support of the transportation needs of the cycling community.

Meanwhile, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) will invest $9.4 million to improve bike connections throughout the county. The funds will be spread among 23 projects to add new bike lanes and trails, build bridges and crossings for cyclists, improve signs and add bike racks.

Additionally, more people are riding their bicycles to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) stations, according to Metro’s most recent bicycle census, which counted parked bicycles at Metrorail stations.

Bike parking usage in 2012 is up 3% from last year and the availability of bicycle parking near Metrorail stations has increased to more than 4,000 spaces. Currently, 85 of 86 Metrorail stations have bicycle racks available. At stations with newly installed bike racks, the census showed an uptick in usage compared with last year. In May, Metro introduced the system's first "bike & ride" facility at College Park Station.

It’s not just on college campuses, but very prevalent there, of course. In September, University of Michigan launched a new bicycle rental program this fall with 30 bikes available at a rate of $5 per day, or $75 per semester, Stanford’s bicycle program includes free bike safety classes; a folding bicycle promotion for eligible commuters, University of Texas at Austin provides a one-stop shop called The Kickstand, where cyclists can check out U-locks, use tools, get help with minor bike adjustments and purchase basic bicycle accessories at discounted prices.

In the new year we may look a little closer at these services, how many transit agencies are providing them, what the costs and time commitments are, etc. Is your agency making its services more biker-friendly? What features would you be interested in learning about?

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "'The camera doesn't lie" here.

Nicole Schlosser

Senior Editor

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  • Gary Felt[ October 26th, 2012 @ 10:14am ]

    Most transit buses have a bike rack that only holds two, maybe three, bicycles on the front of the bus. That severely limits the ability of both commuters and recreational bicycle uses to utilize transit. At Lassen Rural Bus, we put into place a policy where, at the driver's discretion, bicycles are permitted inside the bus. Our BOC buses have rear lifts and rear securement stations. As long as there is space available bicycles are placed in the securement areas and secured so that they are not missile hazards. Response from the bicycling community has been excellent. We are now exploring installing 2 inch receivers on some of our buses with the thought of possible rear fold down bike racks, or bike trailers to provide even greater opportunity.

  • John Fabian, Chief Investigator, PTSB[ October 29th, 2012 @ 8:08am ]

    Nicole, I agree with you that this intermodal form of transportation is gaining strength. Since the use of front mounted bike racks is failly new in New York State, I recently gave a presentation at the 2012 NYPTA Transit conference on how to ensure safety is considered in new processes, procedures and training. It is available at Thank you. John

  • David Pinto[ March 15th, 2013 @ 2:03am ]

    The headline on Nicole's story refers to "bikers", as does the first paragraph. This is incorrect; the correct word is "cyclists."


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