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13 tunnels, steep hills, roads with traffic, and avoid riding · Influence of advocacy groups, at night or during adverse weather conditions (see Fig- · Transit funding, ure 5); and · Authority of the transit agency to make policy deci- · Providing public infrastructure to support active living sions, and and prevent health problems related to a lack of physi- · Political leadership. cal activity. COMMON ASPECTS OF BICYCLE AND TRANSIT LOCAL DIFFERENCES IN BICYCLE AND TRANSIT INTEGRATION PROGRAMS INTEGRATION Although there are a variety of types of bicycle and transit inte- Although the bicycle services described in this report are gration, most of these services have several issues in common, classified into distinct categories with similar characteris- including developing initial support, obtaining funding, mar- tics, each bicycle and transit service is designed to meet the keting, establishing policies, and monitoring performance. unique needs of the transit system and the community. A par- Each of these issues is addressed in this section of the report. ticular program or set of bicycle services may be successful for one agency, but may not be successful for a community Developing Initial Support with different characteristics. Factors that can influence the type of service provided include: Support for integrating bicycles with transit service can come from several different groups. Bicycle advocacy groups com- · Transit ridership characteristics (headways, peak user monly lead the support for transit agencies to establish bicy- volumes, overcrowding, etc.), cle services. Other groups that have helped support bicycle · Climate, and transit programs include: · Design of transit vehicles and transit access areas, · Local land use patterns, · State and local governments, · Bicycle access to transit; the quality and connectivity of · Elected officials, bicycle facilities in the community, · Environmental groups, · Socioeconomic characteristics of the local population, · Health promotion groups, · Students, · Businesses and advertising agencies, and · Staff within transit agencies Funding Agencies have found a variety of ways to fund the equipment, maintenance, and staff support for bicycle services. Other major players in funding bicycle-related transit improvements are state DOTs, regional agencies, and local jurisdictions. Some agencies that responded to the survey covered the ini- tial capital cost of their bicycle services exclusively with state and federal funds, whereas others combined their own funds with state and federal grants. Most agencies (including all of the Canadian agencies) however covered the entire cost within their own budgets. It was even more likely for the agencies to cover the costs of maintenance on their own. In addition to fares and transit agency operating budgets, local sources of funding include property taxes, sales taxes, hotel taxes, and business and individual donors. State sources include funding from state DOTs and other state matching grants. Federal sources included FTA Section 5307 and Sec- tion 5309 Formula Funds, the CMAQ program, and Surface Transportation Program Enhancement Funds. FIGURE 5 Bicycle-related services provide bicyclists with Several respondents to the survey noted that they would means to bypass barriers to bicycling, in this case a bridge-- like to provide additional services, but did not have adequate New Jersey Transit. (Source: Michael Rosenthal.) funding to do so.
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14 Marketing Monitoring Performance Marketing increases public awareness about bicycle and tran- Performance of bike-on-transit programs has been assessed sit services. Thirty-two of the 56 responding transit agencies both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitative assessments used some type of marketing program (see Figure 6). Mar- of a bicycle service can be based on input from transit agency keting programs offered by these agencies included one or staff (e.g., bus drivers, train station managers, transit plan- more of the following marketing techniques: ners), transit customers, and the community as a whole. Although qualitative feedback can be gathered through sur- · Brochures; veys and interviews, it is often received informally from · Transit agency websites; bicycle and transit advocates in the community. · State or regional websites providing links to local tran- sit agency bicycle service information; Responses from the 56 transit agencies showed that most · Information in riders' guides and other standard transit had a qualitative understanding of how different groups felt publications; about their bicycle services. Bicyclists as a whole were very · Posters (on buses and trains, at stations and stops, and satisfied with any bicycle and transit integration services that in other public places); were being offered. Transit users were either neutral or pos- · Newspaper and magazine advertisements; itive about accommodating bicycles, regardless of the type of · Demonstrations of how to load bus bike racks at public bicycle and transit integration. events; · Promotion of bicycle services in informational videos and advertisements; and Quantitative measurements include counts of bicyclists · Kickoff events with free fares, water bottles, etc. on buses, trains, or ferries; counts of bikes parked at transit stations; inventories of bicycle parking spaces; and surveys There was a significant range in the cost of marketing pro- of bicyclists on the transit system. Counts of riders and grams used by transit agencies. Some agencies used only parked bicycles are often taken manually by bus drivers or staff time to implement their marketing efforts. Others spent transit agency staff. In one example, the Central Ohio Tran- up to $50,000 marketing their bicycle services. Most agen- sit Authority (COTA) has established an automated system cies reported that the time and money spent on marketing for counting the number of bicyclists using its bike-on-bus efforts helped increase the awareness and use of the services. service (see the case study later in this chapter). In addition, Agencies however were not as satisfied with the effective- a California transit agency has developed a bicycle counter ness of marketing programs for bike parking. One agency as a part of its bus bicycle racks. Sensors in the two bike tire reported that this advertising was only somewhat effective slots count each bicycle that is placed on the rack. Surveys because it only reached existing transit users, not bicyclists have been used less frequently than counts because of the who were potential users. additional time required to develop and administer them. Some agencies have taken advantage of partnerships with Many of the agencies that participated in this study were other government agencies and the private sector to advertise interested in collecting additional data about their bicycle- their bicycle and transit programs. For example, some local on-transit users, in particular, agencies that did not know how bicycle advocacy groups have posted information about the many bicyclists used their services. Agencies reported that bicycle services on their websites (British Columbia Transit), they would like to collect the following types of data, if the and there are several examples of transit agencies that have resources were available: offered advertising space to local businesses on bike racks in return for funding assistance (Penticton Transit, British · Counts of bicyclists using transit services at different Columbia Transit). Representatives of a mayor's bicycling times of day (peak vs. off-peak), education program staged demonstrations of bike-on-bus · Counts of bicyclists who are turned away because of racks at many events to provide hands-on training to poten- inadequate capacity, tial bicyclists [Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)]. · Bicycle transit user origin and destination surveys, · Socioeconomic characteristics of customers using bicy- Establishing Policies cle services (income, automobile ownership, etc.), · Purposes of bicycle-on-transit trips, Agencies commonly set policies to restrict the types of bicy- · Time of day bicycle-on-transit trips are taken, and cles, ages of bicyclists, and time periods that bicycle services · How a bike-on-transit customer would reach his or her are provided. In some agencies, these policies are approved destination if the bicycle service was not provided. at the highest levels within the agency, although in other agen- cies, mid-level staff create and approve the policies. Some None of the agencies that were surveyed had established per- agencies have established policies for their bicycle services formance measures to evaluate the quality of bicycle services and have posted them online (see Appendix A). that they provide.
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15 FIGURE 6 Chicago Transit Authority bike-on-transit marketing program.
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16 FIGURE 8 Bike boarding report provides data on bike-on-bus boardings from agency intranet--Central Ohio Transit Authority. a bike rack for loading, the driver simply touches the AMDT on-screen prompts necessary to record a bike boarding. The AMDT allows the transit agency to monitor bike on bus use on each route and identify trends in bike on bus use over time. The touch pads are also coordi- nated with COTA's wireless automated vehicle locator system, which FIGURE 7 Advanced mobile data terminal--Central Ohio keeps track of the locations of all buses throughout the central Ohio Transit Authority. area. Coordinating the touch pads with the automated vehicle locator system makes it possible for analysts to download data about the loca- tions of bike on bus boardings from the agency intranet, including the specific bus, time of day, date, and closest intersection to where the Monitoring Bike-on-Bus Boardings bike was placed in the bus rack (see Figure 8). Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)--Columbus, Ohio COTA's bike-on-bus program has been well-received by the pub- lic, as shown by positive customer e-mails and media coverage. Infor- COTA added front-mounted bike racks to its entire fleet of 275 mation from the touch pads was used to calculate total boardings over buses in September 2004. Using existing advanced mobile data ter- a one-week period when free fares were given to bicyclists who used minals (AMDTs) previously installed on the buses (see Figure 7), the the bus. More detailed bicycle boarding data from the automated mon- AMDT touch pads were programmed so that drivers could document itoring system are available on request. However, no formal data have each bicycle boarding. Once a passenger boarding the bus deploys been prepared for the general public because the program has been TABLE 2 EXAMPLE OF AGENCIES IMPROVING BICYCLE ACCESS TO TRANSIT FACILITIES Transit Agency (Location) Involvement with Bicycle Access Improvements Washington Metropolitan Area Construction of a new rail station included providing part of a major new Transit Authority (WMATA) shared-use path facility. In addition, WMATA has provided bicycle (Washington, DC) lockers at many Metrorail stations. Regional Transportation District Pedestrian/bicycle bridges are to be built as a part of two upcoming (RTD) (Denver, CO) projects. These bridges will provide pedestrian/bicycle access to stations from surrounding communities and from some bike and multi-use trails. Additionally, RTD has invested jointly in a series of bridges that will improve access to and from Denver Union Station and neighborhoods northwest of Denver. Fort Smith Transit Established two goals related to bicycle access to transit: (1) work jointly (Fort Smith, AR) with the city's Engineering Department to construct sidewalks in areas that restrict access to transit shelters; (2) unite efforts with the Parks Department to locate transit shelters and bike parking at trailheads where bike routes and transit routes intersect. Kelowna Regional Transit System The city of Kelowna, which is a partner in providing the transit service, has (Kelowna, British Columbia) an extensive network of bike lanes and bike routes. New Jersey Transit Corp. Coordinates station improvements with local development where possible. (NJ TRANSIT) (Newark, NJ) It also provides bike and pedestrian access through multi-agency programs like New Jersey's ́Transit Villa ge" program. Ride Glenwood Springs Completed a bus stop access plan that includes bike and pedestrian (Glenwood Springs, CO) access/facilities at transit stops. Town of Vail (Vail, CO) Spent more than $5 million in the last 15 years to build bike paths. The town also operates the transit system. TransLink (Greater Vancouver, Funded development of bike routes that connect to transit facilities (bus British Columbia) routes, light rail stations, commuter rail stations, and ferry terminals). Brownsville Urban System Participated in the local MPO hike and bike plan to incorporate transit (Brownsville, TX) connections. Will be constructing a bus transfer station on a planned hike and bike trail. Chicago Transit Authority Periodically collaborated with Chicago DOT on access issues. (Chicago, IL)