Bicycles parked at racks at Metrorail stations inched up again this year, and Union Station is now Metro’s number-one station for bicycle access.
Union Station is now the busiest Metrorail station for bicycle access.
Using bike rack counts – one of two ways we gauge bike-to-rail access – bikes parked at Metrorail stations increased by 1% in the last year. The number of bike racks increased 20% over the same time period. (The second measurement of bike access from theMetrorail Passenger Survey was published last week here).
- Overall bikes parked is up slightly above 2012. However, we observed each station only once or twice, so it is difficult to discern long-term trends from short-term variation so far.
- Union Station is now the single biggest station for bicycle access, not including bikes parked inside the BikeStation there. We counted 130 bikes at that station, well beyond the capacity at racks.
- Bike parking capacity is up 20% since 2012, including the College Park Bike & Ride. Metro now has space for over 5,000 bicycles at stations. We (and our partners) continue to add bike parking capacity to stay on track to reach our goal of 7,000 bicyclists by 2020.
- Bike use increased at several major stations such as East Falls Church, Vienna, Greenbelt, and NoMa, but decreased at other stations such as King Street, Braddock Road, and Franconia-Springfield.
- Bicycle numbers remained about even at several perennial heavy-hitters like Medical Center, Takoma, Grosvenor, and Columbia Heights.
|Bike Rack Capacity
The number of Metrorail customers riding their bike to the train station increased by 50% over the last 5 years, as Metro makes progress towards its 2020 goal to attract more bicyclists.
More cyclists are accessing Metrorail by bike than ever before. According to results from the 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey, the number of riders bicycling to Metrorail in the morning rush hour increased from around 1,550 to over 2,380 per day between 2007 and 2012. Bike access to Metrorail now accounts for 1% of entries each morning, which moves us closer to our Board-adopted goal of over 2% (over 7,000 bicycles!) by 2020.
In this survey, riders who access rail by bicycle in the morning peak could be taking Capital Bikeshare to the station, riding and parking their own bike at the station, or bringing a folding bike on-board. The Passenger Survey is one way we measure bicycle access. We see a similar pattern in our annual count of bike racks at stations each spring (currently nearing completion for 2013, stay tuned).
The growth in bike access has happened at the same time as bicycling is increasing generally in the region, and as Metro has added more bike racks at stations to accommodate and encourage bicycling, including a secure Bike & Ride parking prototype facility at College Park station.
Heat map showing parking access within 1 mile and 3 miles at Huntington station, which may indicate good opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle improvements (click for full map)
We continue to explore barriers to pedestrian and bicycle access to Metrorail stations with a look at Huntington station. Previous posts in this series explored Forest Glen and Southern Avenue stations. All stations profiled share similar characteristics in that they have a high percentage of short-distance (less than three miles) parking access, and low bicycle use. By looking at street layout, customer distribution and gathering your comments we are working to better understand barriers facing pedestrians and bicyclists and improve safety.
The map on the right (full version) shows auto access “hotspots” for Huntington station. Huntington is located in Alexandria Virginia less than a mile south of interstate 495, the Capital Beltway.
The station serves as a park and ride option for commuters from south of the DC metropolitan area as it is the last station on the southern end of the Yellow Line and is easily accessible from the interstate. Still, roughly half of the 3,600 daily parking customers originate from the many residential areas within three miles of the station.
Short distance parking customers almost exclusively originate from south and west of the station. The Potomac River, Capital Beltway, and proximity to Eisenhower Ave, Kings Street, and Braddock Road stations also along the Yellow Line seem to influence this. Read more…
Join Metro at pitstops at Cheverly and West Hyattsville Metrorail stations on Bike to Work Day, May 17. Register now for your free T-shirt!
Bike to Work Day is coming soon – and biking to Metro counts too, especially for your free T-Shirt! If riding all the way to work sounds a little daunting, have no fear. Nearly every Metrorail station has bike racks where you can lock up your bike, and continue your commute by rail. And every Metrobus has a bike rack on the front with space for your bike, too.
So bike to Metro on Friday May 17 and pick up free stuff, too! There will be over 70 pitstops that morning, including many right near Metro stations.
This year, join Metro for Bike to Work Day pitstops at West Hyattsville and Cheverly stations for:
- Giveaways and maps
- Safety and transit tips
- Bus bike rack demonstration, with a bus on hand
Register now at biketoworkmetrodc.org, and enter pitstop West Hyattsville or Cheverly Metro stations.
West Hyattsville station is directly accessible to the Anacostia Northwest Branch trail and the Sligo Creek trail. Cheverly station has good bike access to the neighborhood of Cheverly to the north, and signs will guide bicyclists from Cheverly Ave. and Columbia Park Rd. We’ll have plenty of bike parking on hand for the day!
More about Bikes and Metro:
Every Metrobus has a bike rack on the front of the bus with room for two bikes. But if you ride the F12 or F13 bus routes around the Cheverly and Landover areas, you may have noticed a different kind of rack on one of our buses – with space for three bikes, not two. Our Bus group is testing out this new style of rack on one bus operating on the F12 and F13 routes to see how it works. The instructions for using this test rack are the same as the standard racks.
Have you seen or tried this rack? Did you try the middle or back-most rack? What do you think?
Let us know in the comments below.
Metro is testing a new style of bicycle rack on buses with space for 3 bikes.All Metrobuses currently have racks for 2 bikes.
Bikes are allowed on Metrobus at all times, even during peak times. Unsure about how they work? See instructions for how to use the standard racks.
Metro’s Parking Office recently completed new bike rack installations at Shady Grove and Brookland-CUA stations, with parking for over 80 additional bicycles. This work was completed as part of our Pedestrian and Bicycle Capital Improvement Program.
The new racks at Brookland are located on the west side of the station, just off the Metropolitan Branch Trail. At Shady Grove, the new bicycle racks are in two places on the west side: near the station entrance and bus loop, and near the Kiss & Ride loop where bicyclists had previously locked to handrails.
Next up? Pedestrian improvements at Glenmont station – stay tuned!
In May and June, Metro staff traveled the region counting parked bicycles at all Metrorail stations. These bike counts help measure our progress in attracting bike-to-rail customers, and are a key piece of data when we plan for bicycle facilities in the future as part of Metro’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of 2012-2017 Capital Improvement Program. Here are some results.
Similar to last year’s counts, the objective of the census was to measure the general availability of, and demand for, bike parking around Metrorail stations. Regardless of who owns the racks, we want to know how easy it would be for a passenger to find a place to park a bike near a station at peak times. So, we counted during a six-week window on sunny, warm days from May 1 to June 15, between 9:30am and 3:00pm.
We excluded bike lockers, the Union Station Bikestation, and the College Park Bike & Ride (we counted the racks at that station shortly before that facility opened). We counted each U-Rack as space for two bikes, and used our best judgment for other racks.
Download the count data for yourself (.xls)
Metro will hold the grand opening event to launch its first “Bike & Ride” tomorrow – Tuesday, May 15 at 10:00am at the College Park-U of MD Metrorail station. You are invited to join us that morning, where you can hear a few words from some elected officials and Metro leaders, take a few photos, and tour the facility.
Ready to get started? Sign up now for a $20 BikeLink card, read the brochure, and you’re on your way to secure bike parking.
Already tried out the facility? This first Bike & Ride is a pilot project to try a new kind of bike parking, so let us know what you think! With the facility, Metro hopes to attract more bike commuters to rail by offering customers convenient, flexible, and secure bike parking. Metro’s Parking Office will operate the facility, with help from BikeLink. Metro hopes to learn from the design and continue to expand commuters’ access options as part of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Element of the Capital Investment Program. So, let BikeLink and us know what you think of the facility!