Gear Talk: Connecting with our Cycling Community

bike_loveCapital Metro cares about our cycling community. We recognize there are unique needs when it comes to combining bikes+transit.

We know our cyclist riders need and want safe and simple storage and convenient boarding options on our buses and trains.

Capital Metro wants to support these alternative commuting experiences. That’s why need YOUR input and ideas!

If you are a Capital Metro rider and/or live in the service area, please take a moment to complete this survey and help us continue to improve your travel choices for getting to/from the bus and/or train.

Please join Capital Metro on March 3 as we explore cycling amenities, how to use bike+transit and listen to your feedback on future improvements.

March 3: 5:30-8 p.m.

Cycleast Bike Shop

1619 East Cesar Chavez Street

Visit capmetro.org/bike for more information.

Can’t make it in-person? Check out our webinar!

March 4: 12-1 p.m.

Register now!

OUR GOAL

bus_mellowjsSince an initial engagement project in 2010, Capital Metro has incorporated cyclists’ needs into much of its projects and planning. Now a new phase of that project will begin, and we will turn to the cycling community again for valuable input and feedback.

THE HISTORY

In 2010, The initial project began with a study that identified the main stakeholders from the cycling community including several area cycling advocates: the City of Austin Bicycling Advisory Council, the Austin Cycling Association, Bike Austin and others. What was revealed from those workshops, surveys and meetings were three main considerations:

  • 1) Safety – This was the number-one concern that came through in almost every issue identified. For example, cyclists expressed concern about bike theft while they’re on public transit and shared how they wanted assurance that their bicycle would still be there when they commuted back. An idea for securely designed bike storage at the most heavily used transit stops was born.
  • The results – So in 2012, Capital Metro opened its pilot MetroBike Shelter at Kramer Station. Capital Metro aimed to increase its amenities and multimodal connections for cyclists with the full-enclosed shelter for members. In April 2014, Capital Metro expanded the service by opening six additional shelters at popular MetroRail and MetroRapid stations, seven in all at Plaza Saltillo, MLK Jr., Highland and Lakeline stations, and at the Tech Ridge Park & Ride and South Congress Transit Center. Every shelter offers security through daily card-key access for members only, monitored 24 hours a day by camera. The space is equipped for 24 two-wheeled standard or electric bikes. Other features of the shelters include sitting areas for changing shoes, work stands with tools for minor bike repairs and air pumps to make refilling tires easy.bikestorage_diagram
  • 2) Bicycle capacity – We heard from cyclists who would rather ride with their bikes on the bus or train. Bus riders had to load it onto the rack at the front of the bus, which at the time had the capacity for just two bikes. Train riders could hook their bikes onto the bike-n-ride racks located in the Priority Seating Area.
  • 0014_BrioPhotography2The results – But these bike-storage options would fill up quickly, especially during rush hours. So Capital Metro took steps to increase capacity on buses by substituting the two-bike racks with new racks with the capacity for three bikes. Even the addition of capacity for one extra bike makes all the difference for cyclists who might have to choose between waiting for the next bus and cycling all the way to their destination.
  • 3) “First and last mile” experience – A larger concern for cyclists has less to do with the onboard experience and more to do with the beginning and/or ending portion of their cycling trip. Cyclists often have to contend with street traffic and pedestrian traffic on their way to the stops, and not all roads that lead to the more popular stop are bike friendly. While Capital Metro can’t address all bike-lane concerns, we have partnered with the City of Austin to develop trails downtown and in East Austin to better connect cyclists and pedestrians to our facilities.
  • The results – In August 2013, Capital Metro and the City of Austin launched a new trail segment along Airport Boulevard, connecting Highland and Crestview Stations, to accommodate bike and foot traffic. Capital Metro will continue to seek more opportunities for improving bike access to our facilities.

WHAT’S NEXT

icon_bikelikesbus_100On March 3, Capital Metro invites our cycling community to a new workshop where we can hear your feedback on our progress and describe any new challenges or barriers. We want to continue building our partnerships withthe cycling community in future planning for an open exchange of information and ideas.

Workshops and engagement events like this have informed our planning and decisions in the past, and we continue to work and respond to the needs of all our riders.

We hope you’ll join us on the 3rd for this workshop!

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