Bike Share Could Help Increase Transit Ridership
Alissa Walker reviews recent research about the causes of declining transit ridership in cities across the country. An analysis by researchers at the University of Kentucky shows that the introduction of bike share results in increases in rail ridership but decreases in bus ridership. In addition, ride-hailing operations in cities appear to lead to ridership decreases on both modes over time.
But shared mobility’s influence on transit ridership is not entirely clear cut. A new TransitCenter report says that ride-hailing services are drawing people away from transit, but riders are not completely abandoning transit. Instead, many are scaling back and replacing some transit trips with car trips.
These findings, along with Uber’s announcement that more people in Sacramento made trips on electric Jump bikes than in Uber vehicles in October 2018, indicate that bike share might play an important role in making transit a more viable option for travelers, particularly in places where shorter trips are the norm, says Walker.
"Providing better bus service should absolutely be an important priority for cities to improve transit ridership. But cities shouldn’t ignore the power of providing ubiquitous bikes and safer infrastructure to help capture transit-savvy riders as they’re making decisions about their next move," concludes Walker.