Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Where Do People Bike and Bus?
All Community Transit buses are equipped with two-bike bicycle racks. We tried out a version of a three-bike rack a few years ago but had issues with the safety of people loading too close to passing traffic. When revenues improve, high capacity bike racks may be one of the issues we look at again.
Bike use on buses has grown over the years, partly thanks to promotions such as Bike to Work Day and Month. Swift bus rapid transit’s three-bike interior racks were designed by our own mechanics. Those easy-to-use racks are very popular, with about 6 percent of all Swift riders bringing along a bike, according to recent data. Considering Swift has about 100,000 boardings a month, that’s a lot of bikes!
About three years ago, around the time Swift started up, Community Transit changed its policy to allow riders to bring bikes on board all buses if the racks were full, if it was safe to do so (meaning the bus was not so full a bike in the aisle would not potentially harm anyone) and if the rider maintained control of the bike at all times. The driver has final say to allow bikes on board.
April 2012 statistics show that bike use on buses is robust across our entire service area.
Routes 201 and 202 between Smokey Point and Lynnwood had about 900 bikes each that month. Although the percentage of overall passengers using bikes looks small, take into account that we have capacity for 40+ passengers on each bus, but only 2+ bikes. Perhaps a better indicator is that there is a bike on almost every trip, on average.
Routes 115 and 116 also have robust bike ridership, about 500 bikes each. Both those routes serve Edmonds Community College.
While Route 424 does well among commuter routes with 30 bikes on 84 trips, that makes some sense since it serves UW. However, Route 422 has the highest ratio of bikes-to-trips with an average of one bike on every trip. That route is also the longest in our system, traveling between Stanwood and downtown Seattle.
A number of north county routes have high bike-to-passenger ratios: Routes 201, 202, 240, 270, 275 and 280. Could be that bus riders in those more rural areas have further to travel to get to or from their bus stops and a bike helps them get there.
Remember, Friday, May 18, is National Bike to Work Day. We hope to see you out there!