Transit is a critical element of the transportation system. Longer trips that cannot be made by bicycle or on foot can be made by bus or by rail, thus reducing dependency on motor vehicles. According to a recent study, approximately 20 percent of transit users acquire their daily recommended amount of physical activity simply by walking to and from transit stops. Not only that, transit is a relatively safe means of getting around, with one-tenth of the risk of fatal injury compared with car travel. Transportation and land use planners can facilitate use of transit by developing compact, walkable areas with diverse land use types around transit stops and stations (often called “transit-oriented development”). Further, transportation planners and engineers can coordinate with transit service providers to design connected street networks that allow as many residents and visitors as possible to safely access transit.

Bicycling and walking are complementary to transit and users must be able to access transit stops on foot and by bike. An efficient and reliable transit system also provides bicyclists and pedestrians flexible travel modes, thus expanding the range of transportation options for those not traveling by car.

At some point, every transit rider is a pedestrian. Some riders have a short walk from a parking lot to a transit stop or station, and others have a longer walk from their home, office, or commercial center. A bicycle-to-transit trip typically extends the catchment area of a bus stop or train station to two or three miles. Thus, it is critical that transit stops and their surrounding environments are safe and accessible for all users. Transportation officials and advocates are increasingly attentive to the "first mile / last mile" problem and how to create safe and seamless connections for bicyclists and pedestrians using transit as a part of their journey.

Resources

Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies describes engineering, education and enforcement strategies for improving pedestrian safety around transit.

Bicycle and Transit Integration Guide illustrates best practices for seamlessly integrating bicycle travel with transit at every point, and discusses the benefits of flexible mobility choices and the need to ensure equitable mobility for the entire community.

NACTO Transit Street Design Guide provides guidelines on designing streets for transit while enhancing the overall utility of the street for all users including those traveling by foot or by bicycle.

Understanding the Basics Behind Transportation Choices offers insight into factors that influence transportation choices, which may affect a commuter’s decision to travel by transit, bicycle or on foot.

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Examples

Sorry to Superb Everything You Need to Know about Great Bus Stops presents the best practices on creating prime stop conditions which will encourage ridership and maintain the safety and comfort of transit users.

Bike and Transit Are Better Than Driving When They Team Up Chart shows how the combination of bicycle infrastructure and a highly efficient transit network can greatly expand transportation access and mode choice options.

Bikes and Transit Campaign for King County, Washington Metro provides tips for loading and unloading transit users’ bicycles, locating and using bicycle parking, including secure bicycle lockers, and videos demonstrating how to safely bicycle around buses.

Free Bike Share for Transit Cardholders program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is first in the country to offer free, 15-minute “Healthy Ride” bikeshare rides to transit riders with a ConnectCard.

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