SEPTA and Bike Share

April 14, 2015

Philadelphia will join the ranks of cities with comprehensive bike share programs later this month. The new program, called Indego, will represent a new travel alternative for Philadelphians, complementing the existing public transportation network with another non-automotive option.

Throughout the Bike Share planning process, the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) worked with SEPTA to determine Bike Share station locations near SEPTA locations. For example, Bike Share stations will be located within a block of the following station stops:

Market-Frankford Line Trolley Lines
40th Street Station 36th Street
34th Street Station 38th & Lancaster
30th Street Station 33rd Street & Market Street
15th Street Station 22nd Street & Market Street
8th Street Station 19th Street & Market Street
5th Street Station 18th Street & Market Street
2nd Street Station 2nd Street & Market Street
Spring Garden Station Regional Rail
Girard Station 30th Street Station
Broad Street Line Templue University Station
Girard Station Suburban Station
Fairmount Station Penn Medicine Station
Spring Garden Station
Ellwroth-Federal Station

Bike and transit coordination is a key strategy for SEPTA to serve and grow ridership In order for people to use transit, access must be convenient and safe. The distance to and accessibility of a transit station to an individual's home and their destination largely determines whether or not they will choose to take transit.

Typically, people who live within one-half mile of a transit station are between four and five times more likely to use transit than those outside the one-half mile radius. The area surrounding the station or stop where pedestrians make up a significant portion of the transit trips is often referred to as the "primary catchment area."

However, when commuters have access to a bicycle, the transit catchment area significantly increases. A report published in 2014 by the Mineta Transportation Institute entitled Perceptions of Bicycle-Friendly Policy Impacts on Accessibility to Transit Services: The First and Last Mile Bridge quantified this ridership market opportunity. Philadelphia "cycle transit users", or CTUs, that were polled in the study estimated that they travel 2.8 miles by bicycle as part of their multimodal trips. This is significantly more than the average one-half mile trip of a pedestrian. Approximately 15 percent of Philadelphia CTU respondents indicated that if they could not easily combine bicycling and transit, they would use another mode. You can read the full document here.

In other words, bicycling can serve to make SEPTA's system and services more accessible to a larger number of people by increasing the rider catchment area for each station. When it rolls out later this month, Indego will provide another convenient way for people in Philadelphia to travel about the city without a car.

Photo courtesy of MOTU