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CHAPTER 8 Bicycle Access to Transit Bicycling as a mode of transportation is increasing rapidly in the United States. A recent study of bicycling reports that bike commute mode share rose by approximately 50 percent between 2000 and 2009, and National Household Travel Survey data shows 49 percent more utilitarian cycling trips in 2009 than 2001. This increase is not occurring everywhere, however; areas that have invested in bicycling have experienced far greater increases than those that have not (35). For example, bicycle commute mode share increased more than five-fold in Portland, Oregon, between 1990 and 2009 (1.1 percent to 5.8 percent) while Charlotte, North Carolina's, mode share remained constant at 0.2 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Paralleling national trends, this guidebook's case studies suggest that bicycle access to rapid transit stations is an increasingly important concern for transit agencies. Moreover, transit agencies located in urban areas where cycling is rapidly increasing are more likely to be actively engaged in efforts to improve bicycle access to transit. For example, TriMet plans to provide sufficient bicycle parking for its new PortlandMilwaukee light rail line to accommodate bicycle access mode shares of 1025 percent, depending on the station. In general, transit agencies wish to achieve two goals related to bicycle access: (1) increase total bicycle access to support transportation agency and community goals for higher bicycle ridership; and (2) establish effective means of accommodating bikes within the transit system, whether through bicycle storage facilities at the station or on-board transit vehicles. These two goals are not always compatible, as increasing bicycle access also has the potential to overwhelm transit system capacity when passengers choose to bring their bicycles on-board (Exhibit 8-1). During case studies, several transit agencies (e.g., LA Metro, BART, and TriMet) expressed a desire to develop bicycle storage solutions that appeal to more bicyclists, due to concern over the inability to accommodate the number of bicycles being brought on-board transit vehicles. Bicycle access to rapid transit stations improves transit service quality, increases mobility options, and reduces reliance on auto access. It can also enhance rapid transit ridership by: · Extending the range that patrons cover to reach rapid transit stations, particularly in locations with limited park-and-ride capacity; and · Increasing the flexibility that customers have to reach destinations at the end of a rapid transit trip. Bike sharing facilities at destination stations (Exhibit 8-2) can help passengers reach more distant destinations without having to bring a bicycle on-board a rapid transit vehicle. Bicycling makes it possible to increase ridership without a corresponding investment in automobile infrastructure or additional bus service. Most rapid transit riders are willing to walk ˝ mile to a station (equivalent to about 10 minutes); they can travel more than two miles by bicycle in the same amount of time. This results in a catchment area that is 16 times that for a pedestrian trip. Moreover, improving bicycle access requires relatively little land, capital invest- ments, or operating funds, and there are almost no associated environmental impacts. 66