Survey: convenience, health, environment top reasons for biking to BART


Survey: convenience, health, environment top reasons for biking to BART

By STEFAN MARTINEZ
BART Website Intern

The results are in from a BART online survey about bikes on BART, seeking to understand what motivates riders who can bike to BART to do so, rather than driving to their stations. The survey was posted June 28, 2011, on bart.gov.  A total of 4,374 respondents completed the survey, which was open to those who use bikes on BART as well as those who do not.

The survey was created to inform the work being done on a update of BART’s 2002 Bicycle Access and Parking Plan. Cyclists now make up 4.1% of all riders, up 65% from the 2.5% of all riders in 2002. Since 1996, BART has built four bike stations, installed hundreds of bike locker and upgraded bike racks to provide safe storage for cyclists. The use of Bike Stations is up by 32% over the last three years from 46,866 to 61,958.

Additionally, DesignWorks USA, a subsidiary of BMW Group, is working closely with BART's bicycle  task force to ensure that the next fleet of BART cars will be more accessible to cyclists wishing to take their bikes on board.

“It’s still important for us to hear from BART riders about what we should be doing to make it easier to bike to BART and easier to share the space on trains with all passengers. We want to hear from both riders who use their bikes as part of their BART trip and those who don’t bike but share the train with bicyclists,” Steve Beroldo, staff liaison to the bike task force, said.

So what did the survey find?

In response to the question “Why do you bike to BART?,” 52% of respondents cited convenience, 50% for health and exercise, and 46% as good for the environment. (Choosing more than one reason was allowed).

Some 42% of respondents said it is between 1 and 3 miles of distance from their home to the BART station they typically use at the beginning of their trips; 37% said the distance was 1 mile or less and 21% said it was more than 3 miles.

Nearly all the respondents said they considered themselves to be advanced (49%) or intermediate (45%) bicyclists. Beginners accounted for just 6% of respondents.

In terms of accessibility, (bike routes, bike parking locations, bike parking supply, lighting, signage and getting bikes to and from the platform) BART was ranked mostly adequate or good. However,  many respondents said they feel that it is hard to get their bikes from the underground up to street level, and 46% of them want the escalators to allow bikes when lack of crowding permits it.

The biggest obstacles keeping people from biking to BART are not owning a bicycle, the distance, and the ban on bikes during peak hours, respectively, according to survey respondents.

These results will provide guidance as BART considers future investments aimed at increasing the use of bicycles as an access mode, especially as BART begins to finalize designs for the Fleet of the Future. (More info at www.bart.gov/cars).

You can download preliminary results of the survey; final results are still being tabulated.

To send bike-related feedback to BART, email sberold@bart.gov.