Plan Integration with other transport modes

  1. Plan
  2. Design and Build
  3. Sell
  4. Evaluate

The section provides an overview of existing and possible solution for connecting cycle highways to other modalities from the planning stage onwards. Through pilots in the Arnhem-Nijmegen area (the Netherlands) and by observing other regions in North-West Europe, we determined four factors deciding about success or failure of such integration.

The cycle highway functions as the backbone of cycle infrastructure. This implies that cyclists arrive by means of feeders on the one end and that the cycle highway distributes cyclists to local links on the other end. It shows the interdependence between the local and regional cycle network.  However, it appears that generating cyclists to the cycle highway is not exclusively obtained by connecting to other cycle networks. To growing extent, we see that cycling is connected to other transport modes such as train, bus and car. In the Netherlands, this is shown by the graph to the right, which depicts that the bike in both access- and egress transport to the biggest Dutch train stations is increasing. The left graph gives insight in access transport. It appears that for over 40% of the trips starts with a bike ride. The right graph shows that the popularity of the bike (dark blue line) in egress transport, i.e. the last mile, is slowly increasing. Travellers look for the most time efficient, comfortable and direct travel possibility. Long distance journeys by train combined with the bike in access and egress transport, appear to be very competitive to car trips.

The graph refers to bicycles in general but how do cycle highways in particular contribute to this interdependence between bike and other transport modes? In addition, the question might be put forward if cycle highways would be more successful if they are connected to other transport modes. Therefore, the CHIPS project researched the several possibilities to integrate cycle highways with other modalities. Moreover, in the Cycle Highway Maturity Assessment tool coherence with connections is included as one of the 22 criteria. To assess the connections between cycle highways and other transport modes the following question is central: ‘are cycling highways competitors or complementary to other modes of transport?’

If transfer points from bus, train, metro and car are planned wisely, bike sharing schemes can enlarge the reach of those modalities in an efficient, environmentally friendly way (IDTP). In the EU project OBIS, which developed a model for the ideal bike sharing scheme, integration to other transport systems was determined as one of the success factors of a bike sharing scheme. This is especially when bike sharing is integrated with public transport in terms of registration, payment, common public transport cards etc. CHIPS approaches this issue from an opposite perspective, namely from an infrastructural point of view. This chapter contemplates the possibilities of integrating cycle highways into the larger transport system and explains what factors should be taken into consideration whenever planning a transfer between cycle highways and other transport modes.

The four factors

Four factors have to be considered whenever one attempts to answer the question: are cycle highways competitors or complementary to other transport modes?

1. Characteristics of the potential user

This may seem obvious but is essential to know who are the users because not everyone is willing to make transfers. We see that it is mostly young, highly educated people are opting for a multimodal trips.

2. Characteristics of the destination

The characteristics of a destination may favour a particular mode. Such situations may occur when parking fees are very low, there is a lack of decent bike parking facility or when the parking is situated too far from a public transport interchange.

3. Quality of the chain

A condition for cycle highways to complement other transport modes is an optimal chain. Transfers should be smooth and pleasant. We have learned that waiting time is the biggest barrier in multimodal trips (Crow, 2014). This also influences the attractiveness of the alternative. This refers specifically to a technical seamless connection. The coming sections discuss the physical integration of multiple transport modes. To a  certain degree, it is unusual for planners to invest in the mental map. However, here we want to emphasise the urgency of investing in the experience of the chain. Through proper wayfinding methods, improving attractivity and comfortability and limiting transfer time the chain will become an alternative to car trips. If the user’s experience is neglected in the planning process, the cycle highway’s investment will only pay off for cyclists and not for multimodal trips.

4. Quality of the alternative 

In order for multimodal trips to be competing with car trips, the alternative should be less attractive. This may be achieved by raising parking fees or reduceing car accessibility to ensure longer travel times. A single bike, or e-bike, trip may be competitive to a multimodal trip if the transfer is slow or if the multimodal trip is resulting in a detour.

Learn more about CHIPS project

Cycle Highways Innovation for smarter People Transport and Spatial Planning

CHIPS will develop and promote cycle highways as an effective and cost efficient low carbon solution for commuting towards and from urban employment poles.

Project partners from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK will develop solutions that will help regions and mobility stakeholders to:

  • Position cycle highways as a new mobility product
  • Overcome physical and behavioural barriers that keep commuters from using cycle highways
  • Maximize synergies between cycle highways and trains, buses and cars
  • Upgrade cycle highways to key structuring elements in future spatial planning
  • Monitor performance and assess impact

Plan Phase

A cycle highway facilitates citizens to move by bicycle from one place to another. It connects residential areas with business districts, city centers or transportation hubs. To determine the right location and make the right connection a calculation of the expected use is needed, taking into account the future developments to plan a future proof cycle highway.

Main objective:  development of a virtual planning tool for potential cycle highways 

    Design Phase

    The challenge is to design the best suitable cycle highway for that specific location. Therefor different criteria such as attractiveness, wayfinding, size and directness have to be taken into account.

    Main objectives:  a cycle highway assessment tool to evaluate the design and readability concepts in the (Virtual) Living Lab. 

    Sell Phase

    Communication and campaigns will help to stimulate (new) cyclists to use the cycle highway. Commuters are the main target group. The engagement of employers is key to reach the commuters and create a modal shift from car to (e)-bike.

    Main objectives: designing campaigns, development of service point and mobile HUBs.

    Evaluate Phase

    Final step is to monitor and evaluate the effects of the development. Are people using the new cycle infrastructure? By using GPS-data, information from counters and traffic lights relevant information about the use can be filtered.

    Main objectives: monitoring and evaluation dashboard and a CO2 reduction calculator.