SAFE ROUTES 2 TRANSIT
- The Transportation Trifecta -
Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) was initiated in 2004 with the adoption of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Regional Measure2, which established a $1 increase in Bay Area bridge tolls. The intended purpose of this funding was to support various transportation projects within the region in order to reduce congestion along the seven state-owned toll bridge corridors. Consistent with this purpose, the SR2T Program was $20M to fund enhancements to increase walking and cycling to regional transit stations. SR2T funds were used for the following improvements, among others: secure bicycle storage at transit stations; safety enhancements for pedestrian and bicycle station access to transit stations/stops; removal of pedestrian/bicycle barriers near transit stations; and system-wide transit enhancements to accommodate bicyclists or pedestrians.
Rebecca L. Sanders, David Weinzimmer, Heidi Dittrich, and Jill F. Cooper
We sincerely thank the many people who made significant contributions to this evaluation research. First, funding for this research was provided through a contract from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants. Fehr & Peers issued a subcontract to the UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center. We want to thank Sean Co from MTC for his leadership and collaboration. Robert Schneider was a post-doctoral researcher at SafeTREC when this study began, and was instrumental in obtaining this contract. He designed the evaluation, developed the forms, conducted initial training and performed initial analysis. Mid-way through the research, though, he departed for a position at the University of Wisconsin, where he remained readily available to the team for questions. Student data collectors conducted interviews and observed traffic. We thank Ashley Lara Clark, Vanessa Hernandez, Wai Ho Yung, Man Ho Yuen, Kayla Wang, Kimberly Wong, Brandon Lee, Meia Matsuda, Mitchelle Ray Peterson, Chong Hong, Greg Lau, Sean Gin, Nili Ovaici, Janice Wu, Kawai Mang, Rohan Bhatia, Daniel Boeck, Keith Hines, Ferdinand Flores, Marta Pinilla, Stephen Hom, Jeffery Rugley, Whitney Wong, Jean Fabius Mugisha, Andre P. Tu, Brenly Stapley, Sandeep Sabu, Garrett Strang, Sandra Lee, Carmen Chen, Katie Evans, and Michele Williams. We also thank intern Paula Rubira for her work in entering data and conducting analysis. Maureen Wetter and Robert Lockhart assisted us in getting letters of authorization from BART. Thank you to BART station agents for allowing us to perform interviews on station platforms.
Study Sites & Acknowledgements
Transit stations were chosen based on key variables associated with travel behavior and mode choice – including population density, employment density, and the percentage of households living beneath the poverty line. The before-and-after study included the Balboa Park, Bay Fair, Civic Center, Glen Park, Lafayette, and Pittsburg BART stations, as well as the Palo Alto transit station. The Fremont and Rockridge BART stations served as the control stations.
Baseline data was collected in the fall of 2011 and follow-up in the falls of 2012 and 2013. Data included postcard surveys that were completed by transit users and intercept surveys that were conducted by trained field workers. Postcard surveys captured basic information about travel done by the participant on the journey from home to the entrance of the BART station (e.g. home location, intermediate stop locations(s), travel time by mode, out-of-pocket costs). Intercept surveys included the same questions as the postcard survey and additionally inquired about the user’s perceptions of pedestrian and bicycle safety and air quality, and about awareness of changes to the roadway environment in the area around the station. In addition to the surveys, intersection observations were conducted to record driver, pedestrian, and bicyclist travel behavior at each site. Behavior observations were conducted at intersections or street segments. Data collectors observed all pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers who approached the intersection.
Background on Safe Routes to Transit
SR2T was initiated in 2004 with the adoption of the San Franisco Bay Area’s Regional Measure 2 (RM2) which established a $1 increase in Bay Area bridge tolls. The intended purpose of this funding mechanism was to support various transportation projects within the region in order to reduce congestion along the seven state-owned toll bridge corridors. Specifically, RM2 established the Regional Traffic Relief Plan and identified specific transit operating assistance and capital projects and programs eligible to receive RM2 funding. Consistent with this purpose, the SR2% Program was awarded $20 million to focus on enhancements that will facilitate walking and cycling to regional transit stations. The local advocacy organizations TransForm and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition were responsible for administering these funds. The Regional Traffic Relief Plan explains that project improvements must either provide direct access to regional transit or that a “transit service associated with the project has to connect with, cross, or provide the same geographic connection as a state-owned Bay Area bridge” (TransForm, 2014). Regional Transit was defined as transit that serviced inter-county trips. In reference to this SR2T evaluation, these associated transit services included Caltrain, Muni, Bay Area Regional Transit (BART), AC Transit, and other public transportation services. SR2T funds may be used for the following improvement types, among others:
- Secure bicycle storage at transit stations/stops/pods
- Safety enhancements for pedestrian and bicycle station access to transit stations/stops/pods
- Removal of pedestrian/bicycle barriers near transit stations
- System-wide transit enhancements to accommodate bicyclists or pedestrians
MORE WALKING, BIKING & TRANSIT
Walking and bicycling, whether as the sole access to transit or as part of a multi-modal trip to access the various stations, increased from the pre- to the post-period at the treatments sites.
Mode Shift Details
INCREASED SENSE OF SAFETY
Perceptions of traffic risk while bicycling or driving decreased significantly around transit stations with SR2T improvements when compared to control sites, which may reflect a greater sense of safety from sharing the road improvements.
Increased Safety Details
IMPROVED LOCAL ECONOMY
People on foot or bike were more likely than drivers to stop for food or drink.