I’ve seen some literature around the web that suggests bike sharing networks may reduce transit use somewhat, but I’m curious to your thoughts/insights on how a bike sharing system can be beneficial to extending the local reach of the network, as a transfer.
I completely agree that bikeshare at stations is valuable to both cycling and transit modes! I suppose I haven’t posted on it because it’s so obvious to me that I’m not sure what to say.
The key thing to keep in mind about these bike solutions, from a transit standpoint, is that anything that helps transit concentrate its resources on more rapid forms of service — e.g. by reducing the demand for “last mile” local transit — is great for transit too, because slower kinds of transit are also more expensive to operate. So this ties directly to my [suggestion] (see Chapter 5 of my book) to not just expand rapid transit but also shift many local bus lines over to more rapid forms of stop spacing … so that service runs faster but is worth walking to.
The challenge for using bikeshare in that context, of course, is that the people who feel confident on bikes in the city are also confident as pedestrians. The challenge is the older or less bike-confident person, some of whom resist walking 200+ meters [to more widely spaced transit stops] as well. It is for these people that many high-cost-per-passenger local transit services — in low density areas — are retained.
Keep in mind that where bikeshare and bike-parking styles of access are needed most is in lower-density development. This is where transit agencies that are focused on maximum ridership and sustainability benefits for the dollar would benefit from being able to run less service, because any service they run is low ridership and thus high cost per rider.
So I’d like to see bike parking and bikeshare promoted especially in new lower density areas, and with a focus on being attractive to a wide range of users, not just the athletic younger people who’ve traditionally driven US bike advocacy. That means infrastructure that’s more about safety than speed, such as you see in Europe. (As I recall, the “design cyclist” for whom the Dutch design their infrastructure is a 60 year old woman with two bags of groceries.) This is really easy to do in new suburbia with well-designed off-street paths and connective paths via low-traffic streets. Canberra, Australia is one city that’s long done this kind of infrastructure really well for a long time, though they’re only now connecting it to transit.
All the best, Jarrett
(I should add that I don’t necessarily endorse Kyle’s implied critique of all “militant, pushy, and spandex clad” cyclists. The tension between slow and fast cycling is a fact of the cultural moment, one that calls for some tolerance on all sides … But I appreciate where Kyle’s coming from here.)