Bicycling offers the potential to serve as a first- and last-mile connector to and from transit, and offers many benefits: riders occupy less road space than private autos, emit no harmful pollutants, confer health benefits to the user, and require significantly less storage space (parking) than a car. Bicycles and can extend the geographic reach of transit services, thus enhancing the usefulness of the transit network. Similarly, high quality pedestrian connections provide safe, secure and comfortable access to the transit network. Yet, despite these benefits, transit agencies often have little control over the networks of infrastructure leading to stations and stops.
Today, transit agencies can directly influence bicycle access to transit by providing bicycle parking at stations and allowing passengers to transport their bicycles on train cars or bus-mounted bike racks. Indirectly, transportation agencies can provide funding to municipalities for building bicycle infrastructure (such as bike lanes and other street treatments). Despite the ability to allocate funding, however, transit agencies often lack direct control over the design, engineering, placement, and prioritization of bicycle and pedestrian facilities that connect to stations and stops. Although local governments control rights-of-way, transportation agencies could support coordinated municipal planning through financial and technical assistance in creating bicycle and pedestrian master plans.
Improvements to bicycle connections
Bicycles extend the range of transit riders from their point of origin to the transit station and then from the transit station to their destination.
- Lanes, parking and other infrastructure -- can encourage more individuals to use their bikes for last-mile connections to station and put more citizens within reach of transit stations.
- On-road treatments
- Parking at station
- Bike racks on buses
- Policies -- i.e. allowing carrying bikes on trains, designated train cars