Placing bicycle-parking facilities near key transit hubs could help to persuade some motorists to park their cars and use public transportation.
That's the strategy behind a plan jointly endorsed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Bikestation, a nonprofit organization in Long Beach, Calif.
Under the plan, the facilities will provide secure, fee-based parking for people who want to store their bikes and then use transit services to get to work or other destinations.
Andrea White, Bikestation's executive director, said the bike centers will provide more than secure parking. Amenities could include access to transit information, on-site staff, bike repair services and a cafe.
"People are willing to bicycle to transit if they know that there are certain amenities available," White said.
The program is modeled after similar operations in Europe and Japan. Four U.S. facilities are in operation, including three in California — in Berkeley, Palo Alto and Long Beach — and in Seattle.
The Long Beach bicycle parking facility can accommodate up to 150 bicycles and offers a cafe in which bicyclists can await on-site repairs, White said.
For people who are concerned about the environment, the Long Beach facility is also a Clean Mobility Center, using solar panels for half its energy needs. The facility also rents environmentally friendly electric bicycles and scooters and operates a hybrid vehicle car-share program.