VACC Logo The Lower Mainland's Cycling Advocates!

Submission to the VUATP Team

Increasing Transit and Cycling Intermodal Trips


Suggestions for improving the cycling-transit interface to encourage growth in intermodal trips, targeting:

Motorists who could be induced to switch to cycling-transit trips if the conditions were conducive to make the switch.
Recumbant on Bike Rack on Bus Bike Rack on Back of Bus - Switzerland

Bike Stand on TrainsCyclist on SkyTrain

Cyclists who intermodal commute occasionally or more frequent who would increase intermodal cycling if the interface was improved to their expectations.
Carrying Bike up Stairs at Main Station Bike Gutter on Stairs
March 24, 2005

Index

1.      Background

2.      Cyclists Vision for Bicycle / Transit Intermodal Commuting

3.      Opportunity for Increasing Bicycle - Transit Intermodal Commuting (Ridership, Revenue)

4.      Business Case (Economics) for Spending Capital to Increase Bicycle - Transit Intermodal Commuting

5.      Today’s Obstacles for Increasing Bicycle - Transit Intermodal Commuting

6.      Overview – Significant Recommendations

7.      Detailed Recommendations

a.     Specific Bus Routes recommendations
b.     Bike feeder network from home to the transit stations, exchanges, and major stops
c.      Bike access to the transit stations, exchanges, and major stops from the roadway
d.     Bike parking at the transit stations, exchanges, and major stops.
e.      Bike movement within the stations and exchanges from the entrance to the platform (facilities, signs, etc.)
f.       Transit stations on-platform considerations
g.     Transit vehicles entrance, departure, and on-vehicle bike parking.
h.     Transit vehicles design to accommodate bikes and cyclists (by vehicle type)
i.       Bikes on SkyTrain Policy
j.       Image of cyclists being welcomed as a user of the transit system
k.     Fare Structure
l.       Scheduling

8.      Other Suggestions and Comments

9.      Soliciting Cyclists Input – the Survey

Appendix A – Survey Questions


1. Background

This submission tries to address on how the cycling-transit interface can be improved so that it would appeal to motorists to leave their cars at home and using cycling and transit together for their next trip.

Submission was prepared using input from 500 plus cyclists, of whom many combine cycling and transit.  Survey was conducted in September 2004.  Additional input was gather in preparing a submission for the RAV project and from comments received over time.

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) is a volunteer-run non-profit society whose members work toward improving conditions for cycling in the Lower Mainland.  The VACC believes that increased bicycle use has the potential to significantly reduce traffic congestion, improve health conditions that result from inactive living, and enhance our urban environment.   The VACC campaigns to change the circumstances that currently discourage bicycle use: poor or non-existent cycling facilities and lack of appropriate education for both cyclists and motorists.  We do this by providing informed input and consultation on cycling issues to municipal, provincial, and federal politicians and government staff, and by offering advocacy support and education to groups and individuals in the Lower Mainland.  For more information on the VACC, visit www.vacc.bc.ca.

In its preparation of this submission to the Vancouver UBC Area Transit Plan project team during the public consultation phase, the VACC consulted cyclists on their perception of the state of the current cycling – transit interface.  They were also asked for their opinion on what this interface should be.  The VACC recognizes the importance to the region of promoting trip journeys that involve cycling and transit together.  Such intermodal commutes contribute directly to the GVRD in attaining its Liveable Region strategy and its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and to the municipalities.  In addition, such trips contribute to personal health, participation in active lifestyle, and greater choice in personal lifestyle.

As a first step towards developing a position, the VACC consulted the cycling community for their reaction on the current cycling-transit interface, what they liked, what they did not like, and their thoughts on improving the interface and increasing such trips.  Just over 500 people responded to a month-long, web based survey in the September, 2004 period.  The survey was advertised through the VACC’s web sites, numerous cycling and non-cycling list servs, leaflet handouts, notices left on parked bicycles, and through bicycle retail stores and other locations.  A review of the survey results indicated that the majority of respondents’ input was proactive, providing solutions and suggestions.

In addition to the major September, 2004 survey, input for this submission was also gathered from a previous, smaller survey, field trip, and workshop undertaken in conjunction with developing the VACC’s position for the RAV project and also from comments from the VACC’s list serv, meetings, and other sources.


2. Cyclists’ Vision for Bicycle-Transit Intermodal Commuting

Vision

“Bicycles are seamlessly integrated and warmly welcomed in all aspects of the Lower Mainland's transit system.”

The vision implies:

·         Personal choice:  confidently choosing travel by cycling and transit together as one’s primary choice for transportation by transit

·         Personnel:  training front line TransLink / Coast Mountain Bus Company staff to deal with bikes

·         Technology:  making loading and unloading of bikes fast and easy (e.g. bike racks on buses)

·         Scheduling:  build time into the schedule for loading/unloading of bikes without putting drivers behind schedule

·         Marketing:  advertising on transit to:

a.      let people know that bikes are welcome and how and where they can be loaded

b.      describe cycling facilities and how they integrate with transit

c.       promote cycling as healthy, fun, easy, time efficient, and safe way to connect to transit

·         Infrastructure:  creating safe, friendly, well-marked, convenient bike routes to transit hubs, provide adequate storage and easy access to transit within the stations

·         Energy efficiency: efficient use of TransLink’s people-moving resources (or transit equipment resources).

Target:

·         10% by 2010 and then 20% in the long term of all transit trips start or end with a cycling segment.

·         3.16 Bikes on each bus rack per service hour for bus fleet (15,000 Cyclists per day)

·         4.54 Cyclists per service hour on SkyTrain

·         22 Cyclists per service hour on SeaBus minimum

·         18 Cyclists per train on West Coast Express

Note – Cyclists target based on Service Hours at Q1, 2004 level


3. Opportunity for Increasing Bicycle-Transit Intermodal Commuting (Ridership, Revenue)

 

Cyclists Perception on Fit of Combining Bikes and Transit

Comments for cyclists:

“Bikes and transit are a natural fit to increase transit usage and needs to be embraced and encouraged by TransLink.  Denmark and Holland are good models.”

“Knowing that, if need be, I can put my bike on transit is reassuring from both a safety and fitness perspective, and encourages me to ride more often and for longer distances.  I even leave transit tickets (for various zones) in my pannier -- just in case!”

“If people felt taking public transit with a bike wasn't such a hassle more people would leave their cars at home and use transit in conjunction with bikes or roller blades or whatever to travel around the city. If bulky scooters are not barred from trains at specific times, bikes shouldn't be either.  Encourage fitness.”

“I love it, and I think it is a demonstration of the city's commitment to sustainability and reducing GHG.”

(re Bikes-on-SkyTrain) “I applaud the effort.  I waited for this for a long time. With few tweaks the system could run safely and hassle free for years to come.”

“The bikes racks on the bus work great. SkyTrain just need to be improved (time in the morning commute, more bikes allowed per train, maybe 2 bikes per car instead of per train).”

“If I had SkyTrain available to me - I'd do a one way ride to work with SkyTrain home. It should be universally available on all forms of transit at all stations everywhere or at the very least in the city of Vancouver area.”

“I'm thrilled that we're making bikes-on-transit possible in our city.  We've a long way to go to make the city bike friendly, but this is a wonderful start.”


The Market for Combined Cycling-Transit Trips and its Potential

The Current Market Place

From the VACC’s survey, it appears most cyclists do combine cycling and transit on some frequency with 30% of the cyclists doing it at least once a week and with 45% of the cyclists on a frequency less than once a week.  Approximately 25% of the cyclists do not combine their trip for a number of reasons, some affected by the availability of SkyTrain on their trip route, bikes-on bus and SkyTrain capacity, or for personal reasons.

                              (respondents) (percentage of total respondents)

How many times per week do you combine cycling with transit?

 

7 days a week

8 (1.69%)

5 to 6 days a week

24 (5.08%)

3 to 4 days a week

36 (7.63%)

1 to 2 days a week

72 (15.25%)

Less than once a week

212 (44.92%)

Never

120 (25.42%)

Cyclists seem to embrace all types of transit offerings.

What transit method(s) do you usually use in combination with cycling?

 

Bus

224 (28.32%)

B-Line

158 (19.97%)

SkyTrain

176 (22.25%)

SeaBus

108 (13.65%)

None

125 (15.80%)


The Potential

From current cyclists

The potential for increasing cycling-transit rides for current cyclists appears to be quite significant with 53% of cyclists willing to extend the frequency of intermodal commuting, if the transit system were able to accommodate their traveling needs.  For another 37% of the cyclists, occasional combined trips could increase.

If these improvements were made would it encourage you to use more transit for your travels?

 

Much more likely

234 (53.42%)

Somewhat more likely

164 (37.44%)

No more likely

40 (9.13%)

From the survey data it appears the profile for the number of combined cycling-transit trips in a week could be projected to conservatively increase by 38% for the cyclist population that commute at least once per week now.

Bikes-On-SkyTrain

There is a latent, pent-up market for increased time of day access for bikes-on-SkyTrain with high potential for attracting more ridership.  86.4% of cyclists currently riding the SkyTrain with their bikes would use this service more if the restrictions on bikes were lifted.

“Question – What improvements would encourage you to make more use of the bikes-on-transit service?”

“Option - Bikes on SkyTrain at all times”

·         69.5% of all survey respondents included this option. (328 of 472 respondents)

·         86.4% of all respondents already using Bikes-on-SkyTrain today indicated that they would use the service more if bike restrictions were eliminated. (152 of 176 respondents)

In addition to reducing time of day restrictions, there is pent-up demand for increased the number of bikes on a SkyTrain train set.

“Question – What improvements would encourage you to make more use of the bikes-on-transit service?”

“Option – More space on each SkyTrain for bicycles”

·         63.4% of all survey respondents included this option. (299 of 472 respondents)

·         83.0% of all respondents already using Bikes-on-SkyTrain today indicated that they would use the service more if bike restrictions were eliminated. (146 of 176 respondents)

Bike Capacity on Buses

TransLink's program for 100% of buses with bike racks was strongly supported by the survey with 72.4% of all respondents that already combine cycling and bikes-on-transit on regular and B-Line buses indicating that more buses with bike-carrying capability would increase their combined trips.

There is also a pent-up demand for more bike carrying capacity on buses.  Commuter, B-Line, Massey Tunnel bike shuttling, and buses destined to ferry docks seem to provide the greatest potential.  18% of all survey respondents (84/472) added their comments on limited bike carrying capacity.

For Motorists Switching to Combined Cycling-Transit Commuting

Current TransLink and the City of Vancouver directions should enhance the potential for increasing transit ridership through combined bike-transit trips beyond that achievable by a feeder bus network.

In the case of the RAV line, ridership expectations include converting 38,000 trips from auto to the RAV line.  Some of this expectation will be achieved through high frequent service level bus routes.  Some will be realized though lower service level bus routes.  For achieving a competitive trip time alternative to car commutes for low frequency service level bus routes, cycling to the RAV station will be the preferred option.

In the City of Vancouver Cool Vancouver initiative, about 90,000 tonne of greenhouse gas is targeted for reduction through modal conversion for cars and from car GHG efficiencies.  For total trip distances beyond 0.5 to 1 km and up to 3 km to 5 km, cycling is the practical choice.  For trip distances including transit beyond 1 km from a transit stop, cycling is the practical choice to reach the station.

The city’s direction is to limit motorized activity within the city at its current level.  As employment grows within the city and surrounding municipalities, inter-municipal travel growth is desired to be non-auto based.

Effect of current initiatives on current usage of personal vehicles:

·         RAV ridership targets would require about 20,000 cars to be left at home.

·         Cool Vancouver GHG reduction targets for road transportation could require about 40,000 cars and SUV’s to be left at home.

City of Vancouver Council has recently adopted, in principle, a target for cycling mode share of 10% by 2010 and then achieving leading European cities cycling level in the long term.  Achieving this target would provide significant opportunities for increasing both cycling only and cycling-transit trips in the upcoming period.

Projected Market Size

Cycling can be a delivery mechanism for the City and the GVRD for moving towards realization its strategic directions, such as CityPlan, the Living region Strategy, commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, Cool Vancouver initiative, the City’s transportation priorities, achieving a 10% cycling mode split by 2010 and then reaching leading European cities levels, and so on.  The potential market for enhanced cycling-transit interface should be targeted at the single occupancy auto market.

Current Cyclist Market Potential

Considering the considerable proportion of cyclists that use cycling-transit infrequently (less than two trips per week – 45%) and the high percentage of those who would use cycling-transit somewhat or much more if the cycling-transit interface were improved (90%) would lead towards a supposition of a large potential market for cycling-transit trips

The usage of bike racks on Seattle buses is reported to be 2,000 bikes per day.   Data is not currently available for bikes on buses on the TransLink system or within the City of Vancouver.   With an average 10,000 operating hours per day for TransLink's bus fleet, achieving bike rack utilization of one bike per bus per day would yield about $600k of revenue and an increase of 365 k riders per yearAchieving bike rack utilization at Seattle level would yield about $1.1 m of revenue and an increase of 700 k riders per year.  Achieving bike rack utilization of 1 bike per bus operating hour would yield about $6 m of revenue and an increase of 3.7 m riders per year.

TransLink staff has estimated that bikes on SkyTrain represent a SkyTrain station access mode split of 0.2%.  If all the bike lockers and bike racks are fully utilized once per day, then the station access mode split for cycling would be at 0.6%.  Revenue of $1.3 m and ridership of 800 k per year would result.  European data for bike parking at train stations reach 1,000 to 4,000 per day.  CalTrain provides room for 16 to 32 bikes on board trains.  In some cases, two BikeCars have been put on some trains to meet the demand.  There is significant opportunity to increase the SkyTrain station access mode split for cycling.

Potential Non-Cyclists Market

The survey was targeted to people who currently cycle, not non-cyclists.  Data collected from non-cyclists who completed the survey was too small to draw any conclusionsAnecdotal information received from time to time suggests that there is a segment of motorist market that could be influenced, under the right conditions, to forsake their vehicle and combine cycling and transit for commuting to work.  People have mentioned that with Bikes-on SkyTrain they have been able to downsize their automobile fleet from 2 cars to one.

A potential guesstimate at the size that could be induced to cycling-transit from the car oriented non-cyclist market may come from the RAV transit line ridership and revenue projections.

The RAV transit line ridership forecast requires that about 20,000 motorists will need to switch commuting by car to the RAV lineFor those motorists living close to the RAV line or to a high frequency bus feeder line to the rapid transit line will have an easy and time competitive alternative to their cars.  For those who are served by a low frequency bus feeder line or have no bus feeder system in the neighbourhood then cycling to the RAV station will provide a time competitive alternative.  The size of this market has not been surveyed.  Considering that the catchments area for cycling to a rapid transit station is 3 to 5 kilometres, it is suggested that a starting target for rapid transit station access mode share should be 10% for cycling.  This would translate to 10,000 cyclists-boarding on the RAV line daily or about 300 cyclists per station making the conversion.


Ridership and revenue generation potential from improved cycling – transit interface:

Cyclists Utilization Level – Transit

Cycling Ridership

Annual Revenue Potential

 
 

Per day

Per year

4 Peak Hours -per day

Daily Operating Hours

 

SkyTrain

         

Lockers Utilized - 100%

464

200,000

 

$300,000

 

Locker and Bike Racks Utilized - 100%

1,304

500,000

 

$800,000

 

Station Parking  at 100% Utilization and Bikes on SkyTrain - Pilot level

2,201

830,000

 

$1,300,000

 

Cycling Parking at origin station target - 500

1,897

730,000

 

$1,100,000

 

European level - Cycling Parking at origin station - 1,000

2,897

1,030,000

 

$1,600,000

 

European level - Cycling Parking at origin station - 3,000

6,897

2,530,000

 

$4,000,000

 

European level - Cycling Parking at origin station - 4,000

8,897

3,230,000

 

$5,100,000

 
           

Bikes on SkyTrain - 2 Bikes per Car per train trip

8,699

3,180,000

$1,018,000

$5,090,000

at 100% utilization day long

Bikes on SkyTrain - 16 Bikes per Train Set per train trip

69,589

25,400,000

$8,120,000

$40,600,000

at 100% utilization day long

           

RAV - 10% Rapid transit station access mode split for cycling

10,000

3,700,000

$1,180,000

$5,900,000

 

Bus

         

1 Bike per day per bus

1,000

400,000

$120,000

$600,000

 

Seattle Statistics - Bike on Bus

2,000

700,000

 

$1,100,000

 

1 Bike per bus per operating hour

10,000

3,700,000

$1,180,000

$5,900,000

at 100% utilization day long

1 Bike per bus per route direction per operating hour

20,000

7,300,000

$2,340,000

$11,700,000

at 100% utilization day long

10% On-Bus Cycling Mode Split - 3.16 bikes per operating hour per bus

30,111

11,000,000

$3,520,000

$17,600,000

all day long

2 Bike per bus per route direction per operating hour

40,000

14,600,000

$4,680,000

$23,400,000

at 100% utilization day long


The Opportunity


2003 TransLink Boarding                   Linked                    Unlinked

                                                                1430627,318           255,477,429

10% Cycling Mode Share Target         14,500,000              26,000,000

20% Cycling Mode Share Target         29,000,000              51,000,000


4. Business Case (Economics) for Spending Capital to Increase Bicycle-Transit Intermodal Commuting

Primary Revenue Source and Ridership Stream

Prime market attention should be focused at people who normally drive to work or other designations and who live in corridors with infrequent service transit lines but within 2 to 5 km of a high-serviced transit route.  Cycling combined with high-service transit line can efficiently compete with car travel, on a trip time basis.

Secondary Revenue Source and Ridership Stream

People have indicated a willingness to move from car commuting to cycling to their end destinations when there is a ready option of transit service available for those trips when weather, limited time to reach destination, personal schedule, bike mechanical breakdown, or a desire to cycle only one way due to personal preferences, night-time cycling or other reasons.  While these cyclists mainly cycle to their end destination, a portion of their trips will be combined with transit, if it is convenient.

Capital Investment

While corporations would really like a one year return on their investments to reduce the risk factor of any investments, a revenue stream within 3 to 5 years matching the investment level is usually considered a low risk investment in the private domain.  For the public domain, a revenue stream that will recover the capital investment in 8 to 10 years seems to be acceptable.

For the SkyTrain lines, an annual investment for upgrading the cycling-transit interface of $1 million to $2 million seems to be an economical justifiable investment meeting good business criteria.  For the bus system, an annual investment of $1 million to $3 million seems to be justifiable on the same terms.

5. Today’s Obstacles for Increasing Bicycle-Transit Intermodal Commuting

Why do people combine cycling and transit for their trip

When cyclists were asked for some typical reasons why they undertook cycling-transit intermodal commuting, reducing trip time was a top choice.

Save time                                                                                     238 (23.92%)

Avoid bad weather                                                         143 (14.37%)

Avoid bridge or tunnel                                                  131 (13.17%)

Avoid busy traffic                                                           127 (12.76%)

Flat tires, breakdowns, etc.                                          110 (11.06%)

Avoid night cycling                                                        94 (9.45%)

Avoid unsafe areas                                                         87 (8.74%)

Avoid hills                                                                       65 (6.53%)

 (note – survey responses and percentage of total survey)

Other frequent reasons why people choose combining cycling and transit included:

·         Knowledge that a transit back-up option is available.

·         Mechanical breakdown and flat tires.

·         Aversion to night-time cycling.

·         Inclement weather.

·         Personal limitations – Cycle one way, transit back is feasible.  Cycle two-way is not, due to personal temperament, tiredness, laziness, or other physical or mental reasons.

·         Personal perception – Flexibility to avoid polluted section of a trip by putting bike on transit.

·         Accompanying someone without a bike.

·         Retail purchases – Option to take transit back home with purchases.

·         Trip distance and time considerations – cycle part way, continue rest of way with transit.

·         Hills and terrains – take bikes up the heavy terrains on transit and cycle the easy parts (ex. North Shore, UBC, and SFU on Burnaby Mountain).

·         Personal contribution to conservation, environment, and public health.

·         Family lifestyle options – eliminate the second car and free its associated cost for alternate family use.

·         Personal economic senses

·         Bikes-on-transit less costly than auto commuting.

·         Trips to the Island – Combining cycling and transit to the ferry instead.

·         Opens up areas for touring and recreational riding too far to do by bicycle only.

·         Eliminates dependency on car usage.

·         Replaces driving to mountain bike trailheads.


Satisfaction level with bikes on transit

In general, most cyclists are either very satisfied (49%) or satisfied (69%) with TransLink's bikes-on transit services.

Excellent                                                                                     23 (4.87%)

Very Good                                                                       82 (17.37%)

Good                                                                                 126 (26.69%)

Average                                                                            97 (20.55%)

Poor                                                                                  54 (11.44%)

None                                                                                 90 (19.07%)

Today’s obstacles with bikes on transit

There are opportunities for improvement that would attract more people to combining cycling and transit.  Some of the obstacles perceived by cyclists include:

SkyTrain

·         Time of day restrictions.

·         Most survey respondents were commuting to work.  Bike on SkyTrain restrictions discourages people from considering to leave their cars at home and choose SkyTrain / cycling instead.

·         Number of bicycles per train.

·          From current policy of 2 bicycles per train.

Buses

·         Uncertainty if there will be bike rack space available on bus, especially for long commutes and for trips to ferry docks.

·         2 bikes-on-rack capacity does not meet demand or causes people to use other modes of travel.

·         Restriction of bikes-on-board buses for routes to ferry docks, under the George Massey Tunnel, and long commutes

·         Physical effort for some in placing bikes on racks.

·         What to do with a bike trailer.

SeaBus

·         Accessibility to SeaBus stations

·         Accessibility on to the SeaBus ferry.

Schedule

·         Early morning SkyTrain schedule not integrated with bus schedules to ferry docks.

Transit Exchange Facilities

·         Lack of secure and sufficient bike parking capacity at major stops, SkyTrain and transit exchanges.

·         Bike racks always available.

·         Bike lockers capacity.

·         Bike locker rental less than under contract.

·         No alternative if racks are full.  Locking to fences not permitted.


6. Overview – Significant Recommendations

What improvements would encourage you to make more use of bikes-on-transit service?  Cyclists were asked to give their thoughts.  Cyclists were asked to pick the improvements that would appeal to them the most from a list of predefined options.  Cyclists were also provided with the opportunity to express their own personal suggestions.  Bike capacity on buses and on SkyTrain was on of the more popular suggestions.

Buses

·         Aggressively continue with Bike Racks on Buses program

·         Cyclists strongly endorses TransLink's active program for attaining 100% of bus fleet with bike racks and would encourage continued, aggressive movement to this target.

·         More buses with bike-carrying capability                        301 (14.01%)

·         Increased bike capacity on buses’ bike racks

·         3-bikes-on-rack upgrade.

·         Bikes-on-board buses on select routes and during non-peak loads.

·         On buses crossing natural barriers within the Lower Mainland consider implementing Whatcom County, Washington approaches – 3-Bike Racks, and Bikes on buses on designated routes and during low volume periods on other routes.

·         On specific routes consider front and back racks and bikes-on bus, especially routes to Tsawwassen, express bus to Horseshoe Bay, and commuter buses.

·         Bike rack design to accommodate more types of bikes and recumbent.

·         More designated and better signed bike routes, bike lanes and bike paths to stations and exchanges.

·         Improved signage, directions and instructions for cyclists 177 (8.24%)

SkyTrain

·         No limitations for bike access on SkyTrain

·         Bikes on SkyTrains at all times of day                                    328 (15.26%)

·         More space on each SkyTrains for bicycles                299 (13.91%)

·         Ability to use the Granville and Metrotown stations  158 (7.35%)

·         Each SkyTrain train set have car(s) set-up for bicycles on-board.

·         Converting of existing cars for accommodating bikes.

·         Adding a BikeCar to each train set.

·         A BikeTrain every 2 or 3 train interval.

·         More convenient access for bicycles on to SkyTrain cars           182 (8.47%)

·         Bicycle routes leading to SkyTrain stations                    191 (8.89%)

·         Easier manoeuvrability around SkyTrain stations         118 (5.49%)

SeaBus

·         More convenient access on to the SeaBus ferry             77 (3.58%)

·         Signage within the terminal.

·         Mid-Door ferry loading.

·         Designated bike area on SeaBus with fold-up seats.

·         More convenient access to the SeaBus terminal            66 (3.07%)

·         Road signage leading to the terminals, cyclists entrance doors, bike access to the Lonsdale Quay terminal.

Stations, Exchanges, and Major Stops

·         Improved, secure bike parking facilities for trip, day, weekly, and longer periods.

·         Bike lockers at all SkyTrain stations                          132 (6.14%)

·         Attended bike storage areas                                         120 (5.58%)

·         Bike racks

·         Bike lockers

·         Bike stations

·         Excess parking capacity at all stations at all times so that there are always parking spots available. (Minimum 25% suggested)

·         Directional, destination signage to bike parking facilities.

Station Access

·         More and direct bike paths to SkyTrain stations.

·         Busy roads to SkyTrain stations made safer through bike lanes or segregated cycling facilities.

·         Improved bicycle destination and direction signage along routes to and within SkyTrain stations.

Operations

·         Cyclist more positively welcomed and integrated in the transit system.

·         Friendlier attitude towards cyclists by SkyTrain staff and bus drivers.

Fare Structure

·         Discount to encourage transit – cycling trips as oppose to using cars.

·         One zone fare for cyclists for natural barriers such as on SeaBus, between SkyTrain stations across the Pattullo Bridge, through Massey Tunnel, and over other bridges


7. Detailed Recommendations

Some of the more frequent or interesting suggestions have been highlighted in italic.

a.     Specific Bus Routes recommendations

Bike Racks on Buses

·         Bike racks on buses priorities for routes Dunbar #7, #10, #17, and C62 Langley.

Massey Tunnel

·         Bike transport through the Massey Tunnel as currently provided by TransLink and the Province is a hindrance to cycling and discourages the growth of cycling and cycling commuting between the two sides of the South Arm of the Fraser River

·         Better bicycle shuttle services through the Massey tunnel – 24-hour and on-demand.  Accommodation of bike trailers.

·         Greater TransLink bike capacity on buses through tunnel – 3 bikes-on-bus racks, bikes permitted inside buses if not crowded, buses specifically designed to accommodate bikes inside (wheelchairs, strollers, and luggage).

·         No-fare zone from stop immediate before tunnel to stop just after.

·         Information signs on where to catch buses with bike rack capability and service frequency at the Tsawwassen ferry stop, Ladner Exchange, Airport Exchange, airport stop, stops on both sides of tunnel, bike shuttle pick-up locations, Waterfront Station, Burrard Station and other relocations.

·         Cyclist-pedestrian bridge going over Deas tunnel

Route #620, Route # 257 (Express to Horseshoe Bay)

·         3-Bike racks on buses, front and back on the limited stop bus routes.

·         Rear bike rack with locking cable controlled by driver.

·         Bikes allowed on bus at driver discretion if passenger loading allows room for bikes and bicycles can be safely brought on-board.

·         Specially configured buses with access-controlled rear door for bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers, baggage.

Commuter Coaches and Routes (ex. #601, Maple Ridge, etc.) and B-Lines

·         3-Bike racks on buses, front and back

North Vancouver Routes

·         More bike-on-bus in North Van

SeaBus

·         SeaBus with bicycles on-board from Steveston to False Creek.

b.     Bike feeder network from home to the transit stations, exchanges, and major stops

·         Bicycle routes leading to SkyTrain stations             191 (8.89%)

·         More convenient, safe, well-signed, designated bike lanes and bike paths to stations, exchanges, and major stops.

·         Safe, convenient routes with catchments area up to 5 km.

·         Direct routes to stations where possible, not necessarily following the grid road system.

·         Bike lanes on busy roads leading to stations.

·         Bike routes to stations shared with fast traffic and buses should be designed to provide protection for cyclists (example, as is proposed for Burrard Street).

·         Well signed cycling facilities with transit stop destination and direction signs.

·         Destination, direction, distance and cycling time

·         Bus stops signs easily recognizable.

·         Signage is obvious and easily spotted by both riders and bus drivers.

·         One cyclist suggested that not all bus stops need to load cyclists.  Stops should be a mixture of "park and ride" lockup for bikes and "bike-loading ok" stops.  There could be more routes that cyclists follow from neighbourhoods to their local "park and ride" bus stop or the "bike loading ok" stops and SkyTrain stations.

c.      Bike access to the transit stations, bus exchanges, and major stops from the roadway

·         Improved signage, directions and instructions for cyclists 177 (8.24%)

·         Easily recognized signage.

·         Improve signage from bike paths especially leading to SkyTrain stations.

·         Effortless, perceived safe cyclist transitioning from road to station without conflict with pedestrians.

SeaBus

·         More convenient access to the SeaBus terminal                  66 (3.07%)

·         Road signage leading cyclists to the SeaBus station and to the entrance doors from neighbouring roads.

·         Signage on Waterfront Station side, especially to the lower exit door. One cyclist wrote that “just yesterday we had to help a confused bike rider who couldn’t find the way out”.

·         Bike access in North Vancouver from east of the Lonsdale Quay terminal. The most logical access is actually the bus access road, but TransLink personnel are often on hand to threaten cyclist with fines (a cyclist’s experience). The other alternative is to walk through the Lonsdale Quay.  The third alternative is to cycle westward past the terminal on Carrie Cates Circuit road, turn left through oncoming traffic onto Chesterfield Place (the main north-south road makes a right bend eastward at this intersection) and circle back to the terminal.

·         Solution - Install a bike lane on the outer edges of the bus loop.

d.     Bike parking at the transit stations, exchanges, and major stops.

·         Signs advertised bike parking at the stations and exchanges.

·         Direction signage from street.

·         Bike parking signage utilizing car parking signage techniques.

·         More secure bike parking at stations.

·         Covered outside parking, light and highly visible to people traffic.

·         Sufficient excess capacity (suggest 25%) at all stations / exchanges / major stops so that cyclists are secure that there will be parking available.

·         Bike racks that lock front and rear wheel and frame.

·         Secure box for helmet and raingear.

·         Bike lockers at all SkyTrain stations                          132 (6.14%)

·         Mix of trip, day, week, month, longer term lockers at stations ad exchanges.

·         Less cumbersome method of getting access to rented locker.

·         Electronic keys.

·         Wireless uploading key / access information to lockers.

·         Attended bike storage areas                                         120 (5.58%)

·         Specific recommendations for increased bike parking capability:

·         Broadway station.

·         Waterfront Station

·         Scott Road
·         Metrotown

·         Lonsdale Quay

e.      Bike movement within the stations and bus exchanges from the entrance to the platform (facilities, signs, etc.)

·         Easier manoeuvrability around SkyTrain stations   118 (5.49%)

·         All station access - Ability to use the Granville and Metrotown SkyTrain stations        158 (7.35%)

SkyTrain

·         Stations laid out for efficient, comfortable movement of people minimizing conflict from road to station platform.

·         Cyclist direction signage and floor marking for greater awareness of movement of cyclists.

·         Cyclists, wheelchair users, people with strollers know where to go.

·         Elevators access well marked from roadway and from platform.

·         Elevators sized to accommodate bicycles, preferably with straight in / straight out loading.

·         Station ramps to platform for use by bicycles, wheelchairs, and strollers.

·         Stairs from road to platform with gutter for conveyance of bicycles with panniers attached.  Some European stations use transit cyclist controlled belt conveyor for placing bicycle on and walking beside it up to the station platform.  Conveyor also accommodates luggage.

·         At least one ticket machine conveniently located for cyclist movement and reduction of conflict with pedestrians.

SeaBus

·         More convenient access on SeaBus                                        77 (3.58%)

·         Bike door(s) at Waterfront station with direct access and egress to Waterfront Road.

·         Signage at stations (interior and exterior) to direct cyclists to doors and to elevators.

f.       Transit stations on-platform considerations

SkyTrain

·         On–platform marked bike waiting and loading area.

·         Operational consideration of spotting trains from back, not centre, to reduce cyclist movement on platform during train loading.

SeaBus

·         It has been suggested that the bicycle area should be in the centre of the SeaBus, not at the rear end. The advantages are, especially at Lonsdale Quay:

·          When the SeaBus is crowed, cyclists have to force their way through the crowded platform to the rear of the waiting area.

·          Sometimes TransLink personnel won’t even let cyclists in. Bike access to the middle would mean bikes could go straight from the entrance doors to the nearest SeaBus door.

·          This would facilitate the option of removal of seats or installing folding seats. The prime seats are at the front, which become the rear on the return journey and so TransLink is reluctant to remove any.

·         SeaBus loading patterns show non-cyclist commuters preference for front first, rear second, and then the centre of the ferry.

·         Comment - TransLink’s reason for having bikes at the rear is so that bikes don’t interfere with the other passengers during disembarking. In practice, this doesn’t work.  There are always slower foot passengers so it ends up being one throng of people / bikes.  Bicycle access / egress closer to the loading area would minimize any such conflicts.

g.     Transit vehicles entrance, departure, and on-vehicle bike parking.

·         More convenient access for bicycles on SkyTrain           182 (8.47%)

·         Wide doors to accommodate two bicycles or wheelchair and bicycle movement.

h.     Transit vehicles design to accommodate bikes and cyclists

(by vehicle type)

Bus

·         More buses with bike-carrying capability                  301 (14.01%)

·         Cyclists support TransLink's program for providing bike racks on all buses.

·         Bike rack design

·         Upgrade fleet to 3-bike racks on buses

·         System to secure bikes on bus racks, thief proof.

·         Rear, lock secured bike racks on buses on select routes.

·         Bike racks set up to accommodate a wider variety of bicycles, electric bikes, and recumbent.

·         Longer bike racks so that deflation of tires not required.

·         Open end bike slot on racks

·         Bike racks that can accommodate panniers on bikes

·         Bike racks that are more appealing to use by people with limited strength to lift bikes or shorter height.

·         Hydraulic lowering of bike racks to road level for loading.

·         Instructions on buses and at bus stops for using bike racks on buses.

·         Bikes on buses

·         Selective buses (especially those to ferries and other popular destinations, including some commuter buses such as #601) and selective times, such as Whatcom County, Washington program.

·         Allowing bikes on buses when bike racks or full and buses not crowded.

·         Bike trailer on buses to ferry docks routes with provision for accommodating bike trailers.

·         Extra rear door on buses with smart ticket swipers for bikes, wheelchairs, and strollers.

Rapid Transit – SkyTrain, West Coast Express, Etc.

·         More space on each SkyTrain for bicycles                  299 (13.91%)

·         Cars specifically and well marked for bicycles, wheelchairs, and strollers.

·         Interior design of vehicles for parking bike during trip.

·         Bike parking area market on floor.

·         Capability to secure bike during trip

·         Seating area for cyclists

·         BikeCar concept with folding seats.

·         One car for each train set designated and configured for bicycles, either half or full car length.  (Either utilizing one car on existing trains set or additional car per train set or per every second train set.)

·         BikeTrain concept

·         A two-car train set run every 5 or 6 minutes for cyclists, wheelchair users, people with luggage or large purchases, and strollers.

·         Cars set up for bicycles with folding seats when space not needed for bike parking.

·         Wide doors for easy loading and unloading.  Possibly one-way in, one-way out.

·         Potentially more than normal number of doors per car.

·         Other suggestions:

·         Higher priority for cyclists, wheelchairs, and strollers in the first and last cars of each train set, accommodating four bicycles in each car.

·         Allow 2 bikes per car on train set.

·         Folding seats with bike rack underneath so that people can sit down when bicycles, wheelchair, or strollers are present.

·         Bike trailers allowed on RAV line to airport.

SeaBus

·         Designated bike area on SeaBus with fold-up seats.

·         Some seats permanently removed or folding chair (operated by the sea bus personal). Comment - There is some conflict between foot passengers, especially during summer. Bikes take up about 4 seats the way it's done now.

Streetcar

·         Bike racks on streetcars.

·         Streetcars designed with a rear door for bikes, wheelchairs, and strollers with provision for swiping tickets.

i.       Bikes on SkyTrain Policy

·         Bikes on SkyTrains at all times of day                                    328 (15.26%)

·         Next best policy – reduction of restriction periods.

·         Peak direction restrictions reduced to 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm.

·         Bikes-on-train in off-peak direction during restricted hours.

·         Peak direction restrictions limited to travel between stations where trains are used to capacity on most trips.

·         Other policies for consideration:

·         BikeCar on every second train.

·         2 bikes per car instead of per train

·         SkyTrain policy on bikes just needs to be improved (time in the morning commute, more bikes allowed per train).

·         Folded bikes allowed on SkyTrain at all times of operation, without limitation to hours, number of bikes on train, or car access.

j.       Image of cyclists being welcomed as a user of the transit system

·         Cyclist more positively welcomed and integrated in the transit system.

·         Make transit more welcoming to cyclists and bicycles, easier access and usage.   Get away from car culture. Europe is way ahead of us.

·         Friendlier attitude towards cyclists by SkyTrain staff and bus drivers.

·         Message conveyed through advertising on bus, SeaBus, and SkyTrains

k.     Transit Network and Frequency of Service

·         More expansive SkyTrain routes

·         West Coast Express could go farther and be more accessible.

·         Number of bikes carried per train.

·         Bikes on West Coast Express buses (bike racks front and back)

l.       Fare Structure

·         Discount to encourage usage and cycling as oppose to using autos.

·         No charge or one zone fare for cyclists over natural barriers such as on SeaBus, between SkyTrain stations across the Pattullo Bridge and through Massey Tunnel and over other bridges such as the Queensborough Bridge

·         Cyclist comment - The SeaBus fare structure is outrageous. A 12 min ride is now 3.25 one way. A regular commuter cyclist spends $1100 a year for this relatively short ride.

·         A cyclist complained of having to pay a two zone premium in order to get safely across the Arthur Lang Bridge. A lower "bridge-hopper" rate would be nice and might encourage others to use this alternative to the car.

·         Discounts or bonuses and incentives should be awarded to those who are using public transit and other forms of environmentally friendly, health friendly, forms of transportation to commute.  It should be recognized that these people are progressive in their actions yet are still inconvenienced far more than the average single occupancy vehicle operator or others who are making no positive effort or effect.

m.   Scheduling

·         SkyTrain, buses schedules integrated for transit to the ferries, especially the first SkyTrain trip in the morning.


8. Other Suggestions and Comments

Transit Maps

·         If there were more recreational biking maps with listings of associated bus routes, more people would consider cycling for recreation knowing that they can get to and from locations by bus.

Reservation System

·         Concept - Reserved space on bike racks on buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express trains for specific routes.  Special ticket or bike pass to carry bike.

·         For specific route trips.

·         Commuter coaches, buses to ferry docks, longer inter-municipal bus routes, high usage routes.

Marketing of Cycling –Transit as a viable alternative for Transportation to Motorists

·         Where motorists would see the ads while in traffic jams or heavy traffic.

·         On billboard space on exterior of buses, SkyTrain stations, overpass.

Marketing of Cycling as a Viable Alternative on Select Bus Routes

·         As peak-shaving on heavily used bus routes.

 (Note – For this submission transit vehicles includes SkyTrain cars, buses (Conventional, trolley, and community buses), SeaBus, ferries, West Coast Express cars, and any future vehicles (Streetcar, LRT, etc.), etc.


9. Soliciting Cyclists Input – the Survey

Over 500 survey respondents.

·         476 respondents to on-line survey

·         29 in pre-trial of survey

·         RAV submission

·         15 survey respondent

·         5 person working session

·         10 person review group.

·         Random input.



Respondents’ residence

V1 - 1, V3 - 46, V4 - 6, V5 - 165, V6 - 167, V7 - 65, V8 - 4, Total - 454

Survey Questions
Cycling Frequency Patterns and Commitment to Cycling for Transportation

Cyclists responding to the survey were very committed to cycling with the majority cycling more than 3 days per week.  These cyclists tend to cycle for recreation purposes less frequently.

Survey Responses

       

Frequency

How often do you cycle?

How often do you cycle to work?

How often do you cycle to school?

How often do you cycle for recreation?

7 days a week

19.07%

2.33%

0.85%

8.05%

5 to 6 days a week

36.23%

26.69%

5.72%

9.75%

3 to 4 days a week

26.48%

25.00%

5.51%

22.25%

1 to 2 days a week

13.14%

16.31%

4.45%

40.89%

Less than once a week

4.24%

9.11%

2.75%

17.16%

Never / Does Not Apply

0.85%

20.55%

80.72%

1.91%

Distribution Pattern -those who partake

       

Frequency

How often do you cycle?

How often do you cycle to work?

How often do you cycle to school?

How often do you cycle for recreation?

7 days a week

19.23%

2.93%

4.40%

8.21%

5 to 6 days a week

36.54%

33.60%

29.67%

9.94%

3 to 4 days a week

26.71%

31.47%

28.57%

22.68%

1 to 2 days a week

13.25%

20.53%

23.08%

41.68%

Less than once a week

4.27%

11.47%

14.29%

17.49%

Demographics

The 25 to 45 year age group perspective was more prominent than other age group point of views (63%).

Respondents age distribution:

18 years old or less                     12 (2.55%)

18-25                                             67 (14.26%)

26-35                                             180 (38.30%)

36-45                                             119 (25.32%)

46-55                                             67 (14.26%)

56 years old or more                  25 (5.32%)

Females’ positions and suggestions were better presented in the survey than their proportion of cyclists by gender within the Greater Vancouver area but much less than their proportion of the population.

Respondents’ gender

Male                                              285 (61.03%)

Female                                         182 (38.97%)


Appendix A – Survey Questions

Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition Survey 2004

September 2004 – one month survey

Publicized on-line Internet survey.

476 respondents, excluding about 25 survey format test respondents

1.      How often do you cycle to? (choose one)
2.      How often do you cycle to school? (choose one)
3.      How often do you cycle to work? (choose one)
4.      How often do you cycle for recreation? (choose one)
5.      How many times per week do you combine cycling with transit? (choose one)
6.      What transit method(s) do you usually use in combination with cycling? (click all that applies)
7.      Why do you take your bike on transit?(click all that applies)
8.      Further comments on why do you take your bike on transit.
9.      How would you rate your current overall experience with bikes-on –transit service? (choose one)
10.  Reason(s) for your rating.
11.  What improvements would encourage you to make more use of the bike-on transit service? (click all that applies)
12.  What further improvements would encourage you to make more use of the bikes-on-transit service?
13.  If these improvements were made would it encourage you to use more transit for your travels? (choose one)
14.  Add your comments on bikes-on-transit service.
15.  So we may better interpret the data, please tell us about yourself. (choose one)
16.  Your Gender
17.  Please indicate the first 3 characters of your postal code.

 

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