Bicycling and Transit. A Marriage Unrealized

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

policy - congestion, policy - environment, mode - bike, operations - capacity, place - north america, ridership - growth


bicycling, transit, Cycling Transit User (CTU)


When effectively integrated with transit services, bicycling may achieve various environmental, health, and congestion-mitigation benefits for communities. A successful marriage between the two will most likely result in increasing (a) the catchment area and subsequent patronage of transit, (b) the efficiency of transit, and (c) the overall demand for cycling. A core problem, however, exists in that the predominant approach for integrating bicycling and transit vehicles frequently runs against capacity restraints. Effectively integrating bicycling and transit requires analysis of a broad range of alternatives that consider the travel patterns and needs of individuals and accompanying urban form characteristics. To fill a void in the literature concerning integrating bicycling and transit, this paper surveys existing knowledge about the two modes, describes three innovative initiatives that show promise in addressing capacity limitations, and sketches an analysis framework for communities and transit agencies to maximize the integration of bicycling and transit. A preliminary index is developed to predict cycling transit user (CTU) generation at transit stops. Factors identified in the literature as important in determining the share of CTUs (i.e., transit mode, location in the urban fabric, access and egress distance, and trip purpose) are nonuniform among communities, indicating that solutions must be tailored to fit local circumstances. Although the literature has traditionally focused on bicycles aboard transit, real gains will most likely be realized through initiatives such as bicycle stations and bicycles at egress locations for use with egress trips. Analysis relying on robust cost-effectiveness could help transit agencies with increased integration of bicycling and transit.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by TRB, copyright remains with them.