Why I Cycle: The bike-to-transit experience

In celebration of National Bike Month and Bike Week L.A. (this week!) we’ve launched a new survey series entitled ‘Why I Cycle.’ This series spotlights local bicyclists who have made the daring leap from car-dependent to car-free or at least car-light in Los Angeles.

Want to share your story? Point your browser to thesource.metro.net/cyclesurvey

Why I Cycle: Connecting Transit Modes

Of particular interest to Metro is bike-to-transit behavior. The results: 49% of Why I Cycle survey respondents said they bike to fill a commuting gap – the fabled “last mile” dilemma.

We asked “If you ride your bike to transit, what lines do you take?”

Many people use a mix of transit but Metro Rail received the most votes, followed by Metro Rapid and Local buses.

Why I Cycle: Rail Station AccessWe asked Metro Rail riders how they access stations with their bikes. Results: 32% said they use the stairs, 18% use the escalators and 16% use the elevators. The remaining 16% said they don’t take their bikes on the train.

The large percentage of cyclists who access Metro rail stations using the stairs will be happy to hear that thanks to feedback at Metro’s Bicycle Roundtable, special stair channels for bicycles will be considered in the design of new Metro stations. The under construction El Monte Transit Station will be the first station to implement stair channels.

We also asked for specific ideas on how to improve bike-to-transit connections. Many said they’d like to see rail cars added that are solely dedicated for bicycles. Others complained that turnstiles made it difficult to enter stations and that wider gates should be installed. Bus racks capable of holding three bikes was another common suggestion.

After the jump, more thoughts from survey respondents on how to improve the bike-to-transit experience. Continue reading

Why I Cycle: Joseph, Long Beach

In celebration of National Bike Month and in anticipation of Bike Week L.A. (May 16-20) we’ve launched a new survey series entitled ‘Why I Cycle’. This series spotlights local bicyclists who have made the daring leap from car-dependent to car-free or at least car-light in Los Angeles.

Want to share your story? Point your browser to thesource.metro.net/cyclesurvey

Name: Joseph
Location: Long Beach

What’s the No. 1 reason you bicycle?

It’s fastest, cheapest and most fun way to get exercise. Going to the gym would waste more time (I have to get places anyone), it is boring, and expensive. My bike is cheaper than driving, heck it’s cheaper than an Easy Pass or LB Transit pass, and it is faster than driving to work and then driving to the gym 3 times a week.

What bike paths, routes or lanes do you take?

I don’t have any on my current route to work. :-(
But I do take bike lanes to church, to the beach or Belmont Shore, and to restaurants in Downtown Long Beach.

If you could make one change to improve your biking experience in Los Angeles County, what would it be?

Bike lanes or cycletracks on all major streets, especial the streets that intersect with every rail and rapid transit line. May more people would bike for transportation if they felt safe and if it was a pleasant experience, not dodging traffic or dealing with winding side streets.

What specific improvements would you recommend to improve bike-to-transit trips?

Increase bike parking at all rapid transit stations, and add bike racks at EVERY bus stop. Make sure there are safe ways (protected or buffered bike lanes, cycletracks, or bike boulevards) to get to every bus stop or transit station. And make it possible to rent bikes at major stations, so people can leave a bike at one station and then pick up another when they get to their destination, without having to cram the bike onto the train. Washington DC’s bike sharing system is a great example.

How would you encourage others to bicycle?

Los Angeles is beautiful and it has the best weather and some of the best terrain for bike riding in the whole world. Why stay stuck in traffic, in your car, when you can get exercise, save money, have fun, and even save time by riding a bike and taking transit?

Briefly, how would you describe your typical biking experience?

I love it!

Why I Cycle: Describe your typical biking experience?

In celebration of National Bike Month and in anticipation of Bike Week L.A. (May 16-20) we’ve launched a new survey series entitled ‘Why I Cycle’. This series spotlights local bicyclists who have made the daring leap from car-dependent to car-free or at least car-light in Los Angeles.

Want to share your story? Point your browser to thesource.metro.net/cyclesurvey

Why I Cycle: Describe your typical biking experience

The people have spoken and they love biking.

When asked, “How would you describe your typical biking experience?,” 69% of Why I Cycle survey respondents said “I love it!

Twenty five percent said “I deal with it.” and only 2% said “I hate it. There has to be a better way.

It’s interesting to compare these results to the answers to a similar question on our Why You Ride (or Don’t) surveys. In response to the question, “How would you describe your typical transit experience?, 48% responded with “I love it!,”  42% said “I deal with it,” and 11% said “I hate it.” On the driving side, only 15% said they “love” their car commute, while 56% said “I deal with it.” And 26% said “I hate it.

One reason for this outpouring of cycle love could come down to simple economics. To wit:

Why I Cycle: how much do yu spend each month traveling by bicycle

Seventy eight percent of respondents say they spend less than $25. Meanwhile, 7% say they spend $25-$50, 10% spend $50-$100 and 0% report spending more than $100 per month on bike travel.

Compare that to our Why You Ride (or Don’t) results in which most transit users said they spend $50 to $100 each month and most drivers report spending between $100 and $300 on monthly transportation costs.

 

Why I Cycle: What do you use your bike for?

In celebration of National Bike Month and in anticipation of Bike Week L.A. (May 16-20) we’ve launched a new survey series entitled ‘Why I Cycle’. This series spotlights local bicyclists who have made the daring leap from car-dependent to car-free or at least car-light in Los Angeles.

Want to share your story? Point your browser to thesource.metro.net/cyclesurvey

Why I Cycle: What do you use your bike for?

If you’re anything like our readers who’ve filled out our Why I Cycle survey, then you use your bike for a wide variety of reasons.

We asked, “For what purpose do you ride a bicycle?

The responses were for the most part evenly distributed amongst the categories (respondents were allowed to choose as many categories that applied to them). 79% of respondents said they use their bikes for recreation. 17% said they ride competitively. 49% use bikes to connect to buses and/or trains to fill in a commuting gap.

More than anything I think these results show that, despite their relative low cost, bikes are versatile multi-purpose tools.

Since people seem to be using their bikes for such a wide variety of purposes (many of them rather mundane) it should come to no surprise that people don’t limit themselves to wearing special bike clothes when riding. We asked, “On a typical bike ride what do you wear?

Why I Cycle: What do you wear?

As you can see, 72% opt for normal street wear and 22% prefer special bike clothes. Maybe we should have also asked, “Do you consider yourself cycle chic?

Click through the jump for a great photo of cycle chic – and don’t forget to take the survey if you haven’t already!

Continue reading

Why I Cycle: How often do you cycle?

In celebration of National Bike Month and in anticipation of Bike Week L.A. (May 16-20) we’ve launched a new survey series entitled ‘Why I Cycle’. This series spotlights local bicyclists who have made the daring leap from car-dependent to car-free or at least car-light in Los Angeles.

Want to share your story? Point your browser to thesource.metro.net/cyclesurvey

Why I Cycle - Frequency

The first question on our Why I Cycle survey asked readers, “How often do you ride a bicycle?

48% of respondents say they ride daily and 41% ride at least a few times a week.

Here are a few responses from these regular riders to the question, “What’s the No. 1 reason you bicycle?” Responses have not been edited for spelling or grammar.

Because I hate driving in LA. One day I just said thats It and SOLD my Car. Been riding for 3 years everyday with combining Metro and Bike. intown i’m faster on my bike than most cars. plus im in great shape and always in a great mood.

-Every day cyclist

Freedom. Freedom to stop as I please, to take in the sights, explore new areas and revisit familiar places. Nobody honks at you when you slow down. Nobody is distracted by cell phones. I ride my bike to be free of the constraint of the vehicle.

- Every day cyclist

Budget cuts have reduced the suburban bus line that passes closest to my house. It doesn’t come early enough, so I bike to catch the earlier train.

- A few times a week cyclist

It’s at just the right pace to experience the world — faster than walking so I don’t get bored, but slower than driving so I can see what’s going on around me.

- Every day cyclist

A few more responses after the jump. Continue reading

Reminder: take our survey and tell us why you cycle

Bicycle at Red Line Station.Bike Week L.A. is approaching and we’re looking to hear stories from our readers who use pedal power to get around.

We launched our new reader survey series Why I Cycle last week and have already received a great response. Nearly 100 readers have shared their cycling habits, stories and wishes with us.

If you haven’t taken the time to fill out the survey, now’s your chance. You don’t have to be a daily cyclist – in fact, if you rarely ride we’d love to hear why.

Visit thesource.metro.net/cyclesurvey to share your story. We’ll start posting results tomorrow.

Take our Why I Cycle survey

Hollywood/Western Biker Chick

Do you love to bring your bike on Metro? Tell us why!

Bikes are huge right now! CicLAvia was a rousing success, Metro just lifted its rush hour ban on bikes on trains and National Bike Month is days away. Because of this we thought it was a great time to launch a new series on the Source titled “Why I Cycle” to spotlight local bicyclists who have made the daring leap from car-dependent to car-free or at least car-light in Los Angeles.

If CicLAvia is any indication, cycling in L.A. has never been more popular (or important in light of rising gas prices, congestion and air pollution). More and more people are utilizing bikes for fun and transportation, and we’d like to reveal how they roll through personal accounts of bicycle use, and in particular, connections with L.A.’s Metro system.

Point your browser to thesource.metro.net/cyclesurvey, fill out the survey and we’ll spotlight your own story on the Source. We’ll publish survey responses over the next month to inspire and guide others in L.A. who are considering joining L.A.’s two-wheeled revolution.

And don’t forget, Metro is celebrating Bike Week L.A. on May 16-20.

Remember our 2010 Reader Survey? We've (finally) compiled the results for you.

Survey results.

Readers want more of everything, especially more coverage of transportation projects and what goes on behind the scenes at Metro.

As 2010 was winding down and The Source was celebrating the end of its first year of Metro blogging, we put together a poll to find out more about our readers and what they thought about Metro’s Web 2.0 venture.

We closed the survey in January of this year and were left with a messy spreadsheet of data. We went through the data at the time, but our day-to-day blogging duties got in the way of compiling an honest-to-goodness report on the results.

I’m happy to write that even though we’re well on our way to 2012, we’ve compiled the report and you can download it right here. Continue reading


Why You Don't Ride: RDM, Long Beach

Why You Ride (or Don’t Ride)‘ is a series where you, our faithful readers, share your transportation routines in L.A. and your thoughts on how to make things better – read more about the concept here.

Want to share your story? Take the survey here if you ride transit regularly, or take this one if you don’t ride.

Who You Are:

Name: RDM
Occupation: Scientist
Location: Long Beach

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

Daily commuting.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

To work in Costa Mesa from Long Beach.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

1

How long does your commute typically take?

1 hour.

Briefly, how would you describe your typical driving experience? Love it, deal with it, or hate it?

I deal with it.

On average, what do you spend each month on transportation?

$300 – $500

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

None of these are feasible for regular use on my commute.

Why do you drive?

Inter-county travel is extremely poor in southern California. If I relied on public transit (LB Transit plus OCTA), it would probably take 2 hours each way to get to work. This assumes that transfers work perfectly. If I miss a transfer (not unlikely), it could easily add an hour each way.

Continue reading

Why You Ride: M, Hollywood

Why You Ride (or Don’t Ride)‘ is a series where you, our faithful readers, share your transportation routines in L.A. and your thoughts on how to make things better – read more about the concept here.

Want to share your story? Take the survey here if you ride transit regularly, or take this one if you don’t ride.

Who You Are:

Name: M
Occupation: Artist
Location: Hollywood

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

I take it 4-5 days a week to work and back home mostly. Occasionally I take it if I want to drink and not have to drive.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

From Hollywood to the Grove area.

What lines/routes do you take?

222 or 156 then 217 or 780 depending.

How long does it typically take?

780 and 217 can take 20 to 25 minutes for the ride…

156 and the 222 10 to 15 minutes for the ride….

But all of these buses need more frequent buses. Especially the 222. The wait for the next bus can be as much as an hour, if the bus shows as scheduled.

Briefly, how would you describe your typical transit experience? Love it, deal with it, or hate it?

I deal with it.

On average, what do you spend each month on transportation?

$50 – $100

Why do you take transit?

I did it because of the stress of driving and finding parking. I was thrilled with the savings in my car insurance and gas, as well is lowering my carbon footprint.

Continue reading