Metro recently analyzed the impact of the recent fare increases and presented them to the board of directors. I went looking for the analysis in the hopes that it would show how revenue from bike lockers changed after the massive increase in locker rental fees. Unfortunately, that information wasn't in the report I did find (the monthly report for October 2010). I think this is the same report because one of the quoted lines "Passengers taking trips less than 0.5 miles appear to be choosing different modes, such as walking or bus" is identical.
What is in there is information about the Capital Improvement Program for fiscal year 2011. It does show two lines items for bike and pedestrian facilities. The first is for $976,200 for bike/ped capacity improvements and the second is for $456,700 for the replacement of old racks and lockers. In both cases only 3% has been obligated and 0.9% spent. But I think the fiscal year starts Oct 1, so this may mean that it is coming later in the year.
This may represent increased spending in response to Metro's now complete Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Improvements Study. They have identified several goals that they want to complete over the next 18 months. These include (among others):
- Tripling bike access mode share by 2020 and quintupling it by 2030
- Continue replacing the Rally Rack III's with inverted U's
- Add shelters over existing bicycle racks and/or move bicycle parking to existing covered areas.
- Study the feasibility of locating bicycle parking within the unpaid portion of station interiors and, where safe, comfortable, and secure, in existing motor vehicle parking garages. Identify and implement pilot locations for each improvement
- Identify and implement a pilot location to install a secure standalone bicycle parking structure with key/card access.
- Evaluate traffic signals in the vicinity of Metrorail Stations to improve crossing conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.
There are still more short-term goals (next three years) and medium and long term goals including:
- Creating a Metro Bike Program Manager position
- Improving and unifying wayfinding signage
- Provide direct access to stations along pedestrian and bicycle desire lines.
The study has also turned up some interesting facts:
the percentage of people bicycling to stations in the AM peak increased by 60 percent between 2002 and 2007. In total, bicycles account for about one percent of the access mode share, though it varies by station. For example, in the AM peak, Medical Center and East Falls Church have the highest bicycle access mode share at 7.1 and 3.4 percent,respectively.
66.9% of drivers said they would consider biking to metro if certain changes were made
Respondents that drive ranked the most important barriers to biking or walking to a station as: (1) The distance between my residence and the station; (2) Uncomfortable crossing conditions at intersections and; (3) High traffic volume and speed.
Several elements the report recommends are on my list of things I'd like to see Metro do. This includes more bike lockers, short-term secure storage, a web-based reservation system, covered bike parking, a bicycle mobility plan for each station, more bike stations, regularly assessing bike usage, more maps and more signage.
The report doesn't mention bike sharing, perhaps because there wasn't time, but it seems a natural choice. And they should consider bike parking within the paid area.
<<---This is as far as I got Sunday night before bedtime. I will direct you to David Alpert's post on this for more as time is in short supply-->>