Research Team: Beth Ferguson (lead) and Angela Sanguinetti
UC Campus(es): UC Davis
Problem Statement: Revolutions in future mobility have the potential to contribute greatly to climate resiliency plans. Public transit has a key role in such a model; however, public transit use has decreased in recent years, with new mobility options such as ride-hailing and shared micromobility contributing to this trend. In order to integrate rising micromobility options with public transit, and moreover, to leverage them to increase public transit use, a critical consideration is the availability and ease of micromobility options for first/last mile travel between public transit stations and city centers and residential areas. The design of the built environment in and around public transit stations plays a key role in the integration of public transit and micromobility.
Project Description: This research presents a case study of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) heavy rail stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, which are in the operation zone of seven shared micromobility operators. The stations were surveyed to inventory design features that might facilitate or hinder the use of personal, rented, or leased bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters for first-and last-mile connections. The purpose of the study was to highlight best practices and opportunities for improvement that can be applied to other types of transit stations and locations. The San Francisco Bay Area was selected as the focus of this case study due to both its relatively high public transit and shared micromobility usage, as well as high micromobility usage rates for trips to and from transit. As such, it is a potential testbed for innovative and adaptive transit station design features that support micromobility. Four cities with BART stations in the Bay Area currently have agreements with shared micromobility providers: Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. The 19 BART stations in these cities were the focus of this study in order to focus on stations with relatively abundant opportunities for shared micromobility usage. Data were collected between July 2020 and April 2021 to describe the stations as well as surrounding areas within a one-mile radius, which can be considered the catchment area for first-and last-mile travel origins and destinations. Features inventoried at each station included: level of protection and connectivity of bike lanes surrounding the station; service vehicle density; micromobility parking facilities; station safety (crime rates); features contributing to the attractiveness of the station and surrounding area (plants and outdoor seating at the stations, and nearby cafes); micromobility parking affordances; and signage.