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Characterisation of and reflections on the synergy of bicycles and public transport

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  • Kager, R.
  • Bertolini, L.
  • Te Brömmelstroet, M.

Abstract

The bicycle is often understood as a disjointed ‘feeder’ mode that provides access to public transport. We argue that combined use of the bicycle and public transport should be understood in a broader perspective, especially where bicycles link to higher speed and higher capacity public transport, such as the train. Cycling and public transport can have a symbiotic relationship forming a hybrid, distinct transport mode, which should be reflected in transport planning. The bicycle is as a way to soften the rigid nature of public transport and thus accommodate diverse individual travel needs and situations. Public transport can be seen as a means to dramatically extend cycling’s speed and spatial reach. We combine a system perspective with conceptual analysis to explore how, why and when this reconsideration is important. We use the Netherlands as illustrative case because of the relative maturity of its bicycle–train connections. The case shows that the synergy between rather opposite yet highly complementary aspects, high speed of the train, high accessibility of the bicycle and flexibility in combining both sub-modes, are the fundamental characteristics to understand the functioning of this system in a wider spatial context. In our conclusion we propose a research agenda, to further explore the relevance of this system for land-use and transport planning and distil wider implications for the international debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Kager, R. & Bertolini, L. & Te Brömmelstroet, M., 2016. "Characterisation of and reflections on the synergy of bicycles and public transport," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 208-219.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:85:y:2016:i:c:p:208-219
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2016.01.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Seungkyu Ryu, 2020. "A Bicycle Origin–Destination Matrix Estimation Based on a Two-Stage Procedure," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-1, April.
    4. Shelat, Sanmay & Huisman, Raymond & van Oort, Niels, 2018. "Analysing the trip and user characteristics of the combined bicycle and transit mode," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 68-76.
    5. Greg Rybarczyk & Richard R. Shaker, 2021. "Predicting Bicycle-on-Board Transit Choice in a University Environment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(2), pages 1-1, January.
    6. Aston, Laura & Currie, Graham & Kamruzzaman, Md. & Delbosc, Alexa & Fournier, Nicholas & Teller, David, 2020. "Addressing transit mode location bias in built environment-transit mode use research," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    7. Ma, Xinwei & Ji, Yanjie & Yang, Mingyuan & Jin, Yuchuan & Tan, Xu, 2018. "Understanding bikeshare mode as a feeder to metro by isolating metro-bikeshare transfers from smart card data," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 57-69.
    8. Rahat Sabyrbekov & Indra Overland, 2020. "Why Choose to Cycle in a Low-Income Country?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(18), pages 1-1, September.
    9. Kevin Chan & Steven Farber, 2020. "Factors underlying the connections between active transportation and public transit at commuter rail in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area," Transportation, Springer, vol. 47(5), pages 2157-2178, October.
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    12. Oostendorp, Rebekka & Gebhardt, Laura, 2018. "Combining means of transport as a users' strategy to optimize traveling in an urban context: empirical results on intermodal travel behavior from a survey in Berlin," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 72-83.

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