The National Academies

TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SB-27 [Active (Synthesis)]

Public Transit and Bikesharing
[ TCRP J-07 (Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/27/2016 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Research Agency: Toole Design Group
Principal Investigator: Roswell J Eldridge
Effective Date: 9/28/2016
Fiscal Year: 2016

Final Scope

In the last five years, as biking has increased in popularity, bikesharing programs have become widespread in North America. Bikesharing is a service in which bicycles are made available for individuals to use on a very short term basis. Like transit, bikesharing offers a more energy efficient alternative to single occupancy automobiles. It can thus serve as a complementary mode, a first mile/last mile solution, and a stand-alone mobility option.

An increasing number of transit agencies have developed cooperative arrangements with bikesharing programs to strengthen the relationship between the modes. The implementation and integration of bikesharing programs can sometimes present challenges to transit agencies. Some transit agencies view bikesharing as competition for potential transit customers; others view it as an opportunity and as a catalyst for transit use. A synthesis study highlighting different approaches that have been used and specific initiatives that might be pursued will prove invaluable for transit agencies, bikesharing providers and communities.

The goal of this synthesis is to provide a better understanding of cooperative transit and bikesharing relationships and to document the experiences of transit systems with bikesharing as a mode. This synthesis will document the current state of the practice and identify challenges and lessons learned through a literature review, survey of representative providers of bikesharing and public transit, and documentation of selected case examples/profiles. Information gathered will include but not be limited to:

• What are the business models?
• Which transit agencies have developed cooperative approaches to bikesharing and why?
• What was the impetus for developing the cooperation?
• What were the objectives?
• What was the process and history of the relationship?
• What policies have been implemented?
• Was there a champion?
• What marketing efforts have been made?
• What are the different sources of funding available?
• What are the different models/structures available?
• Broadening the federal definition of public transit to include bike sharing
• Public Private Partnerships
• Revenue streams ( e.g. sponsorships, advertising, fare box return, etc.)
• Should it be self-sustained?

Equity/ Title VI/ADA Issues
• Have the issues been addressed? How?
• What methods have been more successful?
• How do we addressed unbanked/underbanked/ transit dependent populations? Can credentials other than credit cards be accepted?

Interoperability and integration with transit
• What pricing strategies have been adopted?
• Has there been joint use of transit fare media?
• How have mobile apps developed for transit interfaced with bikesharing?
• What is the relationship between existing labor unions and contracts with bikesharing operators? What is the case for bringing the maintenance or operations in house?
• Sharing of databases?

• How have transit / bikeshare facilities been designed? (Bikesharing station location on transit agency property; Physical integration with transit-owned bike rack/lockers; Bike lanes access; Facility Design Guidelines, etc.)
• Accommodating advances in technology
• What is the role of bicycle infrastructure on bikeshare success?

Perceived Conflicts/ Risks/ Benefits
• What operational arrangements have been used for security and maintenance?
• How is it financially sustainable?
• Positive externalities
• Helmets policies
• Competition for customers. Is it real or not?
• Are there financial and efficiency benefits to transit operators and bike share?
• Liability issues

Information will be gathered by a literature review, a survey of the current transit systems and bikeshare operators (TBD together with consultant), and will also include a minimum of 5 case examples. The case examples will document the state-of-the-practice, emphasizing lessons learned, current practices, challenges, and gaps in information and opportunities for future research. Information about planned and/or failed bikeshare-transit partnerships should also be included ( e.g., OCTA/Bike Nation, Fort Worth).

The case examples should be mindful of the diversity of the following factors: geography, climate, size, representative transit modes, seasonality, demographics, density, and existing bicycle infrastructure. Consultant will provide a draft list of case examples and the reasons for inclusion to the panel before selecting the final case examples.

Information Sources:

• Elliot Fishman’s recent article—Bikeshare: A Review of Recent Literature (Transport Reviews, Volume 36, No. 1, pp. 92-113)—provides important context.
• The Shared Use Mobility Center (http://sharedusemobilitycenter.org/) provides up-to-date information on all modes of shared use mobility, including bikeshare programs, and efforts to coordinate these modes with public transit.
• Public Transit Agency website and planning documents, such as SEPTA’s 2015 Cycle-Transit Plan (http://www.septa.org/sustain/pdf/cycletransitplan15.pdf), will provide important data for this preliminary review.
• HR4343 Bikeshare Transit Act 2016
• Shared Use Mobility Center article on adaptive bikesharing: http://sharedusemobilitycenter.org/news/can-bikesharing-serve-disabled-riders/
• www.bikesharingmap.com 

TRB Staff
Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Phone: 202-334-2361
Email: mgarciacolberg@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 28, 2016, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 12, 2016, 3:30 p.m., EST
Second Panel: May 17, 2017, Washington, DC

Topic Panel
Louis Alcorn, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Rebecca R. Collins, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
Susan Dannenberg, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
Mark Donaghy, Greater Dayton RTA
Robert HampshireTransportation Research Institute
Jennifer K. McGrath, Utah Transit Authority
Avital Shavit, LACMTA
Mitch Vars, Nice Ride Minnesota
Michael Baltes, Federal Transit Administration
Stephen J. Andrle, Transportation Research Board

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