MetroBike Shelters: An important step towards increasing bicycling in Austin

 

Combining public transit and bicycling is a great way to travel. Public transit is great for medium to long trips, bicycling is perfect for shorter trips and when you combine them, you have all of your trips covered. This is such a successful pairing that there are often too many bicyclists trying to get on the bus or train.  As one piece of the solution, on August 6, 2012 Capital Metro will open the first of many MetroBike Shelters at the Kramer Station on the Red Line. The shelter will be secure and can only be accessed by members via a key card. The shelter will be available to members 24 hours a day and membership for the first year costs only $30. CapMetro opened registration in late July and will accept the first 50 applications. Commuters will now be able to ride their bike to the Kramer Station and hop on the train into Downtown without worrying about lugging their bike on the train or finding secure parking when they get into work. You can sign up here for your pass. Five additional locations are planned for the future including: the Tech Ridge Park & Ride, MLK Station, Saltillo Station and more.

Comment on this blog, Facebook or Twitter if you would use the MetroBike Shelter. The more demand the more likely CapMetro is to increase these types of amenities.

Big Picture
It is well knownthat providing convenient and secure bike parking will increase the number of people biking to work. When riders feel safe leaving their bike for the day they are more inclined to ride into work. Building secure parking facilities at each of the Red Line stations is a great place to start.

 Research has also shown that secure parking can increase the perception of safety and actual safety for bicycles by reducing theft and also increasing bicycle commuting and use of public transit. Even more so, combining end of trip bicycle facilities (showers, lockers, changing areas) with secured parking, is a great way to increase bicycle commuting. A recent study shows that commuters with these facilities at their workplace were almost 5 times more likely to bike than those that didn’t have the facilities at work.

Future of transit-bicycle integration

Expecting all employers, large and small, to build showers and locker facilities is a tall order. However, if Capital Metro wanted to take that next step in bicycle-transit integration, they could build a high-profile transit center in downtown, near the Red Line. The Transit Center could have serious bicycle parking, repair stations, shower and changing facilities. Movability Austin discussed placing bicycle showers and lockers in the unused Convention Center parking only to discover management is hesitant to make any long-term commitments until the litigation of that property is resolved. We will continue to work with the City, Cap Metro, DAA and other stakeholders to look for bike/transit station options downtown.

Comment on this blog, Facebook or Twitter if parking and shower facilities would help you commute by bicycle.  Please let us know the address of your work place too.

 

Staycation: Think Outside of …Your Car!

 

You don’t have to travel to distant cities for new adventures. Chances are you still have plenty to explore right here in Austin‘s growing urban playground. Whether you seek the urban thrills of days at museums and nights on the town, the calming serenity of nature, or want to simply get out of your house, with a few tweaks to your mentality you can feel worlds away a little closer to home.

Traveling by car inevitably prompts the headache of responsibility–driving to and from your destination, the hassle of traffic, parking, and the accumulated cost of it all are stresses that fuel our want for escape. However, when we go on vacation we tend to embrace the break from our daily routine. We shy away from driving in acceptance of cultural norms like taking a streetcar in New Orleans or the subway in NYC. Using the local public transportation becomes part of the experience, which allows us to look away from the driver’s seat and up at the city streets. Why not apply the same practice on a staycation?

By trading in four wheels for two during a staycation, you are free to go where the wind blows. You don’t have to worry where you parked or how long you have on the meter, you can spend the whole day walking or biking to local attractions—the farmers market, museums, galleries, kayaking on the lake, or local hike and bike trails just as you would if you had travelled to a foreign land.

There are always multiple events happening downtown at just about any given time. If you’ve shrugged off attending them before, a car-free staycation is the perfect time to indulge your curiosities—challenge yourself to explore all Austin has to offer and let yourself be a tourist in the city you call home. You won’t just be keeping money in your wallet, but you’ll be keeping it in our local economy. Plus you will feel good about the healthy, eco-friendly choices you’ve made!

Staycation Travel Necessities

Bicycle Austin Maps & Info

CapMetro Trip Planner

Dadnab

Trip Advisor’s List of Austin Activities

Secratary LaHood Addresses Movability Austin!

Movability recently sent U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, a tweet asking about demand management (aka what Movability is all about) and we got a response! Secretary LaHood directly addresses our question on his video blog Fast Lane.

Watch the video!