The coordination of bicycle and transit modes has received close attention from public transit planners and researchers in recent years, as transit agencies around the world have installed bicycle racks on transit vehicles, implemented bicycles-on-trains policies, and made other efforts to facilitate bicycle-transit integration. Many planners presume that the catchment area for transit is enlarged by these efforts, but geographic changes in the size of catchment areas have not been effectively documented. This research project was designed to assess the distances travelled on bicycle by cycle-transit users (CTUs), both those who use bicycles as a means of access to transit stops and stations and those who bicycle to and travel on transit with their bicycles. A mixed-methods approach was employed, using a literature review, a survey of cyclist-transit users in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and telephone interviews with a subset of survey respondents. Responses provided by CTUs in the two cities allow us to define their characteristics and behaviors in detail. What is more, they highlight two intriguing conclusions: that transit catchment areas can be much larger for cycle-transit users than for traditional transit users who access transit buses and rail on foot, and that the very concept of a cycle-transit catchment area is quite complex because of the variety of travel opportunities that cycle-transit coordination policies present transit riders. CTUs take advantage of larger catchment areas to reduce their travel costs, and they use those catchment areas in curious, less predictable and more varied ways.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues

MTI Project



Mineta Transportation Institute


Public transit, Bicycle, Cycle-transit user, Catchment area, Access mode