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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bike-and-Ride: Build It and They Will Come


Converting park-and-ride to bike-and-ride trips could yield important environmental, energy conservation, and public-health benefits.  While cycling in general is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, it still makes up a miniscule portion of access trips to most rail transit stations.  At several rail stations of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, 10 percent or more of access trips are by bicycle, up considerably from a decade earlier.   This paper adopts a case-study approach to probe factors that have had a hand in not only cycling grabbing a larger market share of access trips to rail stops but also in the enlargement of bike access-sheds over time.   Both on-site factors, like increases the number of secure and protected bicycle parking racks, as well as off-site factors, like increases in the lineal miles of bike-paths and bike boulevards, appear to explain growing use of bicycles for accessing rail stations. The adage “build it and they will come”, we argue, holds for bicycle improvements every bit as much as other forms of urban transportation infrastructure.  Pro-active partnerships between transit agencies, local municipalities, and bicycle advocacy organizations are critical to ensuring such improvements are made. 

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