Material flow analysis of public bikes in the transport mix
- Hi all,
It seems like this has been said here but I am not sure... it is an
alternative/simultaneous flow to bikes replacing cars directly:
1. Lots of PT use, lots of car use, low bike use, then....
2. Introduction of public bikes, followed by....
3. People leave PT for public bikes (the "Relief Effect"), and also
owned bikes, driven by the "This Is Cool, I Want My Own Effect", and to
4 . This leaves more space on PT, which is taken by former car drivers
5. Less cars, faster PT, faster and healthier-breathing cyclists....
and so on...
It makes me wonder if there is a way to calculate the real cost of a
seat on PT and a seat on a bike, and if PT operators - perhaps only
those which have a majority of riders who use monthly, yearly, etc
passes - are thinking to operate their own public bike systems, because
the per-seat cost is less for a bike than a bus, etc. So, their
commitments to the city or region on people-throughput will also include
public bikes.... so they just market seats (or spots to sit or stand).
Beyond that, what if municipalities focus on giving contracts to
whichever company can get people to destinations in the most sustainable
way, meaning not just through transportation but with changing urban
design (making it denser, encouraging fully walkable lives, and all
that). So, finally, there is no transport operator, just an access
operator, and branded as such.
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- If you look at the TfL.co.uk and www.sfmta.com websites, you'll see that those sites are not merely about running transit systems, they are about mobility more broadly. Each site has tabs organizing information by mode. It happens in those cities that the transit system and the local dept. of transportation is one and the same, but most local depts. of transportation don't treat the delivery of information and their responsibilities in quite the same fashion.
Anyway, your general point is that it's about efficient optimal transportation not merely transit, and that local transportation authorities have to reposition their thinking along those lines.
Obviously, in denser places, with jobs and housing balance, every person who walks or bikes does reduce demand for transit, and helps extend capacity.
San Francisco's "Transit First" Policy (part of the City Charter, passed by referendum) is really more than just transit first, it's really a "cars last" policy (even if not fully operationalized) so it addresses walking and bicycling as much as transit.
In order for this to work, land use and transportation planning have to be performed in concert.
Last year for a class, I wrote a paper on this topic, about creating a truly linked land use and transportation planning policy for DC. It's about 6MB because it's a word file with images, but I can send it to people who want to read it.