The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), in partnership with CALSTART, a non-profit advanced transportation consortium, will be conducting a survey to determine public interest in folding bicycle use with transit at five Metro stations throughout L.A. County July 20 through 28.
Surveys will be given to transit riders who bicycle and to riders who are interested in combining bicycling with transit. Metro staff will have several folding bikes on display near station plaza areas to talk about the bikes and answer questions. Stations selected currently experience high bicycle usage as well as a shortage of available station parking spaces. Surveys will be conducted between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the following stations:
- Tuesday, July 20: Highland Park Metro Gold Line Station
- Wednesday, July 21: North Hollywood Metro Red Line Station
- Thursday, July 22: Balboa Metro Orange Line Station
- Tuesday, July 27: Aviation Metro Green Line Station
- Wednesday, July 28: Norwalk Metro Green Line Station
The surveys are designed to gauge public interest in bikes that, when folded, take up less space and can be more easily transported aboard Metro trains and buses. Metro’s current bicycle rules allow folding-bikes inside transit vehicles at all times when they are folded.
The findings will help Metro develop a Folding Bicycle Implementation Plan to seek funds for a countywide program that could allow transit riders who buy a transit pass the opportunity to receive an incentive such as a voucher, rebate or discount toward the purchase of a folding bicycle for use on Metro trains and buses. Surveys will help determine interest, participation and encouragement strategies for such a program.
Like other transit properties nationwide, Metro seeks new and innovative ways to better accommodate an increasing number of bicycle riders on its system while ensuring sufficient capacity for all its bus and rail passengers, especially during daily peak commuting periods.
Metro is committed to supporting bicycling as a smart, clean, and healthy transportation choice. When combined with transit, bicycles are an effective solution to and from a transit station especially if the distance is too far to walk or too close to drive.
“Folding bikes offer a win-win solution for customers and transit agencies,” said Doug Failing, executive director of highway programs for Metro. Mr. Failing also initiated the agency’s Bicycle Roundtable series to work with public stakeholders on bicycle issues. “Customers can alleviate the need for bicycle parking entirely and can complete the first and last miles of their trips more efficiently. Metro can increase its transit ridership with more bicyclists while effectively managing the transit system’s capacity.”
The survey is being conducted by Metro and CALSTART, a non-profit advanced transportation consortium dedicated to the growth of a clean transportation technologies industry that will clean the air, secure the nation’s transportation energy future, create high-quality economic opportunities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Metro’s Folding Bike Implementation Plan is also part of CALSTART’s First Mile program, which evaluates and implements new multi-modal choices that can take the place of the car,” said Whitney Pitkanen, project manager at CALSTART. “We look forward to helping Metro find a solution to motivate commuters to use ‘small footprint’ bicycles rather than automobiles as their connections to transit.”
This project was funded by Caltrans through a Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant. Next steps include incorporating the survey feedback into the plan, which is scheduled to be completed by September 2010. The plan will assist with applying for grant funding to launch the program.
Those interested in participating in the folding bike survey can do so online at http://surveymonkey.com/s/foldingbike.
For more information on Metro’s Bicycle Program, visit www.metro.net/bikes. For more information on CALSTART, visit www.calstart.org.