METRO Bike and Ride

January 2014   Houston, TX

Client

  • Houston-Galveston Area Council

Key Personnel

Team

  • TEI
  • Nancy R. Edmonson Transportation Consulting

Asakura Robinson partnered with METRO - the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, serving the Greater Houston area - to improve their multi-modal transit system by expanding bicycle access. Developing strategies and recommendations to improve the integration between cycling and transit is critical to the continued growth and expanding ridership for the METRO Service Area.

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Key Points

A multi-scalar methodology including extensive public input and GIS analysis identified opportunities to strengthen mode connectivity between bikes and transit.

Public Involvement

The Bike and Ride Access and Implementation Plan seeks to understand existing users of the system, key factors driving users to access transit by bicycle, and current barriers to access, and to develop recommendations that will improve access. By linking the region’s expanding bicycle network to transit infrastructure and improving bicycle access, amenities, and programs, METRO services can appeal to a wider audience.

Connectivity

Connecting to and from transit facilities is increasingly completed through bicycling to make last mile connections. This plan bridges the gaps between origin points and destinations to transit stations by integrating both transit and bikeway networks with location-specific recommendations.

Multimodal Transit

Integrating bicycle and transit trips more seamlessly with one another stregthens transit ridership and demand for both expanded METRO service and expanded bikeway networks. This plan examined possibilities to connect bicycle infrastructure to transit facilities and determine operational standards for bike parking and on-board accommodations.

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Cyclists ask certain questions to determine whether transit could help them make their trip: Why should I bike to transit for this trip? Where should I connect to the transit network? What will I do with my bike once I get to transit? Is there a safe and easy route to reach transit and my destination? To answer the questions that cyclists have about using transit for their trip, the Metro Bike and Ride Plan uses a framework of four key principles: Communicate, Integrate, Connect, and Implement.


These four principles guided the multi-scalar methodology of the study. The public input methods pursued – which included an online survey, five focus groups, on-board bus surveys, and two public meetings – aimed at engaging current transit users, bicyclists, and those considering using these modes.

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At a larger scale, GIS data was analyzed to identify the factors influencing mode choice in the region. Statistical regression analysis served to identify METRO service routes that were under-performing in terms of bike boardings, and site visits and analysis were conducted at nearby Park & Rides, Transit Centers, and METRORail stations.

Park at Palm Center April 2013   Houston, TX