Establishing Multimodal Dialogue at Your Agency & Beyond

Establishing Multimodal Dialogue at Your Agency & Beyond
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Establishing Multimodal Dialogue at Your Agency & Beyond
By Dan Suraci

Meeting the needs of multimodal commuters does not begin or end with the installation of bike racks at transit facilities and onboard transit vehicles.

Transit agencies should proactively facilitate and promote the use of bicycles for first/last-mile travel to and from their facilities. Empowering transit customers to bike the first and last mile requires clear communications with riders to not only promote, but also educate and inspire. Internal conversations on bicycles are critical to success, both to educate employees and to drive demand instead of playing catch-up to demographic trends. Both internal and external promotion are key.

Internal Dialogue

Internal organizational culture could potentially be a barrier to expedited strategies for facilitating cycling. Operational issues in particular may prompt opposition from some internal stakeholders. It is critical that agencies ensure that communication about bikes is disseminated at all levels of staff to articulate the context and justification for bike/transit integration.

Identify an internal executive-level champion to advocate for bicycle improvements.

Develop an internal, cross-disciplinary bicycle advisory group that consults on all aspects of bicycle integration.

Leverage other bicyclists at the agency, including operators who bike, to spread the word about the benefits of bicycling for customers and for the agency. Deconstruct perceived barriers that commonly oppose these efforts.

Data is critical, especially for mitigating operations and maintenance concerns.

Keep customer service informed on all bicycle improvement projects and concerns. This includes the following:

External Dialogue

Frequent, targeted communication that is informed by data (rider feedback, numbers, specific challenges) allows agencies to more precisely tailor their bicycle strategies. In addition to technical requirements, complex bike parking systems also require a marketing strategy to facilitate use. This may include the following:

A brochure for bicyclists that is distributed on vehicles, through customer service, at public events and other venues

Agencies must adequately budget for communications activities. Transit agencies should work with local advocacy groups to develop consistent messaging and to ensure that transit understands and meets the needs of the bike community.

For more information on establishing dialogue on multimodal transportation at your agency visit download the guide for bicycle and Transit Integration today.