Biking through Orange County’s canyons, along the beachside trails and in the lanes that parallel our streets, is a reminder that transportation doesn’t necessarily require four wheels.
In Southern California especially, we are blessed with year-round weather that promotes the active lifestyle of cycling. And with more than 1,000 miles of bikeways in our county and an additional 700 miles planned, biking to work has emerged as a viable alternative to driving.
Utilizing bicycles as a commuting option is gaining more appeal around the world with 136 bike-sharing programs reported to be in place in 2011. The U.S. claims a fraction of those, and aside from some university and large employer programs, California has no bike sharing options.
At Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), we are preparing to implement a bike-sharing program, providing the public with the benefits commuting by bike can offer, and ultimately, taking cars off the road, easing traffic and improving the environment.
Successful bike-sharing systems are located in medium- or high-density areas like the ones in place in Washington, D.C.; Boston; Denver and Philadelphia. They create connectivity between transit hubs, business centers, tourist destinations and housing.
Keeping with industry best practices, OCTA is beginning our pilot program in Fullerton, a city of nearly 140,000 and home to California State University, Fullerton and Fullerton College, a pedestrian-friendly downtown with a transit hub and transit-oriented development. It has the bikeways, density and local support needed.
The initial program is envisioned to be comprised of 15 stations and 150 bicycles with annual, monthly, weekly and daily subscriptions available. OCTA is currently in the process of hiring a firm to implement the pilot program, which is anticipated to roll out this summer.
The city of Anaheim, located in Orange County, also is planning to implement a pilot bike-sharing program this year. The system will serve major activity and destination centers that could include the convention center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim and the Disneyland Resort.
As commuters continue to explore this healthy, money-saving alternative, they will look to transit agencies and municipalities to lead the bike-to-work movement and introduce bike-sharing programs in their communities.
In case you missed it...
Read our METRO blog, "Bus deaths prompt uneasy questions about responsibility" here.
In February, the FTA finalized its grant management requirements circular governing the administration and management of all FTA grant programs. This revision incorporates changes to these programs contained in both authorizations that have been enacted in recent years, the FAST Act and MAP-21. While some provisions the revised circular are welcome and needed because of enactment of these new laws, it also contains changes that are not only unnecessary but could threaten the industry’s health.
The benefits of using public transit are many — environmentally friendly, less stressful than driving and no time wasted sitting in traffic, to name a few. For commuters in cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Montreal, there are even more advantages for using transit — discounts at local businesses for using bus/train/trolley passes.
Ask commuters who drive between Houston and Dallas almost every day and see what they have to say. They are known as “super commuters” – the nearly 50, 000 people traveling back and forth between the two cities at least once a week. That number will increase as the growth in Texas continues to climb. Super commuters and other drivers want another solution to Texas’ traffic-clogged highways. Enter the Texas Central high-speed rail project...
For many college engineering and architecture students, it’s probably a good bet that they have not given much consideration to careers in public transportation. Members of the SEPTA's Engineering, Maintenance and Construction Division have worked closely with Philadelphia-area university students to introduce them to job opportunities in the realm of mass transit.
When it comes to communicating that people have transportation options besides their own drive-alone cars, the transit industry is getting its lunch handed to it, and has been for decades. It must face that it’s a fringe player that wants to become mainstream. And it’s not getting any easier. While we hear so many great stories about options presented by bikeshare systems and technology and Uber, the fact remains that people are buying cars more than ever.