This post was written by Julia Salinas, who works with Metro’s active transportation team.
Been on a Metro train or bus lately? If so, how did you get to the station or stop?
The answer to that question is walking or biking for almost 90 percent of bus riders and more than 70 percent of rail riders, according to Metro’s most recent customer survey.
It makes sense: if you are cutting out the car from the main part of your trip, you may want to (or need to) cut out the car all together. And it’s getting easier to get to Metro by bike. Nearly 80 percent of the population of Los Angeles County lives within biking distance of Metro Rail or fixed-guideway bus service like the Orange Line.
But not everyone is aware of just how convenient it is to bike to transit, the reason why we’re launching our new campaign “From Bike to Train and Back Again,” in tandem with the start of Bike Month 2016. It’s one of the many ways Metro is encouraging people to use more sustainable forms of transportation.
“Biking distance” is defined as three miles from a station. With the addition of 13 new stations via the extensions of the Gold and Expo lines this year, more locations than ever before are within reach of those using a bike. And it’s just going to keep getting better:
The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is celebrating its halfway mark! Join us for a family-friendly Halfway There Community Celebration on May 7 in Leimert Park Village.
The long-awaited first segment of the Metro Purple Line Subway Extension to Wilshire/La Cienega is now under construction, and the entire project will eventually connect destinations such as Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood to our growing rail network.
The Metro Regional Connector Project is connecting the Blue, Expo and Gold lines in downtown Los Angeles and will make light rail trips to and through downtown Los Angeles easier and faster.
As these projects open, there will be more stations within easy biking distance. It’s an exciting time to be an Angeleno as we see options for safer, healthier, more convenient and environmentally-friendly forms of transportation continue to grow.
Bike Month, the national month-long celebration of bicycling every May, is the perfect opportunity to try using a bike as your way to get to the train and back again.
If you haven’t thought about biking to work before, think about this: Research has shown that biking to work can reduce stress by up to 40 percent. The best time to give it a try is on May 19 aka “Bike to Work Day.” There will be more than 50 pit stops across the county to support bike commuters, and Metro and Metrolink will be free for bike riders. Just bring a helmet or your bike for free access. To get you ready, here are a few things to know:
•If you want to bring your bike with you once you get to the train station or bus depot, know that bikes are allowed on trains at all times and buses have racks in front where you can secure your bike.
•If you want to leave your bike at the station, you can lock your bike securely (we recommend U-locks, not cable locks) or sign up for a bike locker.
If you live near one of the new nifty Bike Hubs, consider getting a membership. More Bike Hubs are coming – keep an eye on our Bike Hub page for the latest updates on the hubs planned at Hollywood + Vine, Culver City, Union Station and North Hollywood.
Of course, biking doesn’t just have to be all about work. Bicycles are a great option for short trips and during the month of May, we encourage you to grab a two-wheeler and change up your transportation habits. Instead of driving your car to the grocery store a few blocks away, why not bike? The same goes for the farmers market, the library and the coffee shop. You can get in some exercise and use the money you’ve saved on gas for that chai-mocha-chino-latte-caffeine-filled-foamy-thing.
Community organizations, city agencies and local businesses throughout the county are hosting dozens of Bike Month events to get you prepped and comfortable riding. Events are open to all, free to the public and are for all skill levels. For more details and a map and schedule of all events, check out the Bike Month webpage here. Here’s a sneak peek of just some of what’s happening:
Tuesday, May 10 – Bike Commuting Workshop hosted by Walk Bike Glendale
Thursday, May 12 – Gear up for Bike to Work Day @El Monte Bike Hub
Sunday, May 22 – BikeCulverCity Expo & Bike to Transit clinics
Friday, May 27 – Bike Night @Union Station
At Metro, we’re excited to bring you all sorts of biking goodness throughout Bike Month, including tips, resources and even a chance to win some goodies. And if you have questions about how to “Take the Train and Back Again,” please give us a shout on our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts and we’ll do our best to help you navigate the wonderful world of biking. Together, we can all make Los Angeles County a healthier, happier, greener place to live.