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Bike-Share Stations in the U.S.

Posted by Content Coordinator on Friday, April 8th, 2016


By Theresa Firestine

  • A total of 2,655 bike-share stations operate in 65 U.S cities.
  • Of the 2,655 bike-share stations, 86.3 percent (2,291) connect to another scheduled public transportation mode within 1 block. These connections extend the transportation network by offering a means for reaching places with scheduled public transportation (e.g., heavy rail stations and local bus stops) and a means for reaching destinations not served by scheduled public transportation.
  • Transit bus is the most typical connection, with 84.2 percent (2,236) of bike-share stations located a block or less from a transit bus stop.

Bike-share systems enhance modal choice and extend the existing transportation system by providing access to destinations off existing public transportation routes.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS’) Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database (IPCD) provides the locations of U.S. bike-share stations and their connectivity levels to scheduled public passenger transportation modes, such as air and intercity and transit modes (bus, ferry, and rail) (see box A). A bicycle (bike) sharing system is a service where bikes are available for shared use to individuals on a short-term basis. In the United States, 86.3 percent (2,291 of 2,655) of bike-share stations connect to another scheduled public transportation mode within 1 block, 9.0 percent (238) connect within 1 to 2 blocks, and 4.7 percent (126) either have no connection or no connection to a scheduled public transportation mode within 2 blocks (see figure 1).

BOX A. About the Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database (IPCD)

The Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database (IPCD) is a nationwide database of passenger transportation terminals, with data on the availability of connections among the various scheduled public transportation modes at each facility. The IPCD data covers the following types of passenger transportation terminals:

  • Scheduled airline service airports
  • Intercity bus stations (includes stations served by regular scheduled intercity bus service such as Greyhound and Trailways; code sharing buses such as “Amtrak Thruway” feeder buses; supplemental buses that provide additional frequencies along rail routes; and airport bus services from locations that are outside of the airport metropolitan area)
  • Intercity and transit ferry terminals
  • Light-rail transit stations
  • Heavy-rail transit stations
  • Passenger-rail stations on the national rail network served by intercity rail and/or commuter rail services
  • Bike-share stations

The data elements describe the location of the above types of terminals as well as the availability of intercity, commuter, and transit rail; scheduled air service; intercity and transit bus; intercity and transit ferry services; and bike-share availability. Transit bus service locations are not specifically included in the database. However, the status of transit bus as a connecting mode is included for each bike-share facility in the database.

FIGURE 1. Bike-Share Connectivity to Scheduled Public Transportation

Bike-share generally uses new mobile communications technologies to offer a transportation option. In most cases, users pay a fee to grab a bike at any outdoor docking location in the system and then return the bike within a specified time limit to any outdoor docking location within that system. Bike-share systems generally operate within a city; however, a few operate across cities within a metropolitan area.

Bike-share systems typically operate independently of local transit authorities. However, most bike-share docking stations (86.3 percent) can be found near local public transportation stops (transit bus, commuter rail, heavy rail, light rail, and transit ferry). These locations offer modal choice and the opportunity to connect between modes. Transit bus is the most typical connection, with 84.2 percent (2,236) of bike-share stations located a block or less from a transit bus stop.

Bike-Share Systems

BTS found a total of 2,655 bike-share stations that operate in 65 U.S cities as of August 2015 (see figure 2). A total of 46 bike-share systems operate these stations. Of the 46 bike-share systems, 5 operate across 1 or more cities within a metropolitan area. Capital Bikeshare, for example, serves 11 cities in the Washington DC-Arlington-Alexandria Metropolitan Area, and Cincinnati Red Bike serves 4 cities in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area3.

Connecting Options at Bike-Share Stations

Bike-share systems that connect with other transportation modes extend the transportation network and increase modal options. A bike-share facility, for example, located within a block of a transit bus stop offers an alternative to taking transit and provides access to locations off the transit bus route.

BTS’ Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database (IPCD) provides the locations and shows the connectivity of bike-share stations in the United States to other scheduled, passenger transportation modes. A bike-share station connects with another mode when the other mode serves the same location or stops within one block of the bike-share station. (see box B) Of the 2,655 bike-share stations, 86.3 percent (2,291) connect with one or more other scheduled public transportation modes. At bike-share stations where an intermodal connection exists, 1,933 connect with 1 other mode; 348 connect with 2 modes; and 10 connect with 3 modes. An additional 238 offer near connectivity only to facilities with one or more scheduled transportation. At these stations, another mode stops more than a block, but less than two blocks, away (see figure 3).

Bike-Share and Transit Connectivity

Bike-share predominately connects with other transit modes (transit bus, transit rail, and transit ferry).

Across all transit modes, bike-share most commonly connects with transit bus (public transit bus with scheduled, fixed route service). Nationwide, 84.2 percent of bike-share stations (2,236) connect with transit bus and an additional 9.8 percent bike-share stations (261) nearly connect with (are between 1 and 2 blocks from) transit bus. (see table 1)

Of the 2,655 bike-share stations, 15.0 percent (397) connect with transit rail (commuter rail, heavy rail, and/or light rail) and 17.7 percent (470) nearly connect (table 1). There are 21 bike-share stations that connect with both commuter rail and heavy rail at a station; 4 connect with commuter rail and light rail; 7 connect with heavy rail and light rail; and 3 connect with all 3 transit rail modes.

Fewer bike-share stations connect with transit rail than transit bus, because transit rail exists in fewer cities. Bike-share systems exist in 22 of the 784 cities served by commuter rail, 11 of the 104 cities served by a heavy rail system, and 15 of the 138 cities served by a light rail system.

Download full version (PDF): Bike-Share Stations in the U.S.

About the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) was established as a statistical agency in 1992. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 created BTS to administer data collection, analysis, and reporting and to ensure the most cost-effective use of transportation-monitoring resources. BTS brings a greater degree of coordination, comparability, and quality standards to transportation data, and facilitates in the closing of important data gaps.

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