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.
Metro needs to fund “Contrabiking” lanes where bikes are in a 2 way protected lane going against traffic it just looks real cool too! Come on metro! And more bike hangers on the trains!
ExpoRider – we didn’t forget. 😉 We’ll be talking about bike share a lot in a couple of weeks.
Transportation Planning Manager, Active Transportation, Metro
Great article, but you forgot to mention Bike Share! Two of the biggest concerns with the bike/rail nexus are security at stations and storage space on the trains. Both of these concerns are eliminated with bike share.
Awesome article. We are in agreement 100%. Using a bicycle to get to and from a train station is wonderful (first and last few miles) way to boost your health and lower stress levels — try it out and see for yourself. Thank you for promoting the workshops (Tuesday, May 10th and Thursday, May 12th — two identical workshops) to help lower the barrier toward engaging in active modes of transportation. Bikecar101 and Walk/Bike Glendale are super thankful for the Metro Grant which funded these two workshops and the two bicycles rides (Sunday, May 15th and Saturday May 21st). One of the rides is a “feeder ride” to the May 15th CicLAvia, while the May 21st bicycle ride is a workshop to educate bicycle riders about both Metro and Metrolink trains. More information can be found by either going to Walk/Bike Glendale facebook page (list of events — click on the desired event to be directed to the event page) or by visiting the WBG webpage — links are here:
1) Facebook events page:
2) WalkBike Glendale Website:
Last but not least, if you are unable to make any of the listed events but are still interested in learning how to bring bicycles on board, check out the website “Bikecar101” at: http://www.bikecar101.com Look at our “3T” program on the menu on the left hand side of the webpage menu.
Bikecar101 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to advocate for and educate the public about bicycles on board public transit trains in Southern California. We are educating the public to elevate the participation of residents engaging in active transportation to improve their health and wellness. We offer training programs (free ticket, free t-shirt, for a testimonial or picture). We have a training request form at the following link on our site:
Again, thank you Julia for writing a great piece to support bicycles as a great way to travel to and from public transit train stations. We look forward to seeing everyone on the road or on the train. Have a great day.
Holly cow! You discovered it! It’s actually a very good way to get around LA county. I’ve been using the bike/Metro system for years. I haven’t had a car for over 7 years. It’s even getting pretty good for the lazy and older folks too! E-bikes are getting pretty good now-a-days too.
when do the bike lockers at the new Expo stations become available for reservation?
Please, Metro should be a realistic commuting alternative, a parent that has to drop a kid at a day care or school and be on time at work is not going to use a bike. We need a Metro tailored for Los Angeles, let’s do a study and find a solution for Los Angeles,I applaud people that use the bike to go to the Metro, but is not a realistic or practical alternative if Metro is going to be a real commuting alternative, in LA we need sufficient free parking spaces at Metro stations, like my station Norwalk I 605 (Green Line- orphan line) since the year 2000 the parking get full by 7.30 am, thousands of cars are going back into the freeway everyday just from this station, after 5 years of using the Metro everyday to go to work in Downtown L.A I gave up, was taking me like 30 minutes to go around the parking lot, hoping that some person coming in the next train was going to live a space , just to go back into the 105 and try Lakewood station, thinking of checking Long Beach Blvd station then realized I spend almost an hour, so just drive to downtown.
yep that pretty much mirrors my experience with that norwalk station when i commuted to santa monica. Its a bonus for all those orange county residents since they never paid into the system and spend their tax dollars in OC while myself a long beach resident gets to pay that extra sales tax with gas, grocery, etc and not get full use.
It would be nice if we all had magical free parking where ever and whenever we wanted. But each “free” parking space Metro builds at a station costs $10’s of thousands to construct and is a constant, ongoing subsidy from everyone who rides Metro to the tiny percentage of riders that drive a car to a station.
Have you considered riding a bike to the station? We all know that bikes won’t work for everyone in every situation. But they are fast, cheap, and you never have to worry about a parking spot. Why do you consider this “unrealistic” and then propose us all spending hundreds of millions of dollars so a small number of people get the “free” parking they seem to think is critical? I’d say that’s a bit unrealistic, regardless of whether or not it is feasible or desirable.
Sounds like the real issue with parking is pricing. Its completely full by 7:30 am because it is FREE. Adding more free spaces will just encourage more people to park, continually reaching capacity as you build more. Do you think it is an efficient use of land or smart move to further expand the surface lot (most likely demolishing homes) or build a structure (millions of dollars) to “just leave your car sitting there”. Asking metro to build more parking will most likely become a hidden cost in the fare of your ride.
That’s really dumb they don’t charge for parking. I guess Metro has never heard of Shoup Dogg, http://www.shoupdogg.com Price is set on availability. As they end up becoming less and less spaces, prices go up and up. The same way for a lot getting less cars, but it becomes less costly to park. This way you’re not chasing the magic parking dragon. Trying to get that next hit, or build that next multi-million dollar parking lot.
Juan, you bring up an important point about parents having different transportation needs. Commuting to work via bike or train cannot be possible for everyone all the time but it can certainly be possible for some people, some of the time. We also encourage everyone to try biking for short trips too, not just the commute to work. Stay tuned for more posts about biking with kids.
Transportation Planning Manager, Active Transportation, Metro