What communities are integrating bicycling and transit facilities, and how?

Bicycle and transit integration has increased substantially since the early 1990s. Prior to the 1990s, few transit agencies provided bike on bus, bike on train, or bike of ferry options, though initial efforts to integrate bicycles and transit had begun. Starting with ISTEA in 1991, transit agencies began offering more bicycle facilities because of the federal government's focus on intermodal transportation, which increased the amount of federal funding available for such investments. Most transit agencies do not collect information about the use of bicycle services and amenities, but those that do have found that their use has increased. Some transit agencies have found that providing ubiquitous bicycle services (all locations, all routes) is important for achieving high use rates (Transit Cooperative Research Program, 2005).

A 2005 survey of major U.S. cities found that out of the 51 cities surveyed, 30 had equipped their entire bus fleet with bicycle racks (Steele, 2005). Many transit agencies in smaller cities and towns offer this service as well, as it a relatively inexpensive investment with many benefits. The Bikes on Transit Database allows users to search for transit agencies across the country that accommodate bicyclists. Check it out to see what services your local transit agency provides or use it to plan a bicycling-focused trip.

Types of transit-related bicycle amenities and services include bicycle accommodations on buses (usually racks), trains (often using storage areas and hooks or in designated rail cars), and ferries, as well as bicycle parking facilities (racks, lockers, or staffed facilities) at transit stops and stations. Employers and commercial destinations can help support bicycle and transit commuting by providing secure bicycle parking, on-site showers, and alternative transportation benefits and incentives, such as free or reduced price bus or rail passes. Marketing, training and education, and wayfinding services are all important aspects of bicycle and transit integration.

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Steele, K. (2007). Bicycling and walking in the U.S.: 2007 Benchmarking report. Washington, DC: Thunderhead Alliance. Available at http://peoplepoweredmovement.org/pdf/benchmarking2007.pdf.

Transit Cooperative Research Program. (2005). Integration of Bicycles and Transit. TCRP Synthesis 62. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board. Available at http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/library/details.cfm?id=2373.