Transit going the extra mile to accommodate cyclists

Posted on October 25, 2012 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.

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