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Making It Easy To Connect: A Research Project

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The California PATH Program of the University of California, Berkeley, has completed a study of efforts integrate mult-modal transportation services around a Bay Area Rapid Transit District station and a new transit-oriented complex.

In "EasyConnect II: Integrating Transportation, Information, and Energy Technologies at the Pleasant Hill BART Transit Oriented Development," researchers evaluated electronic bike lockers and an online locker reservation system; an improved automobile parking information system; use of a hydrogen fuel cell power source; and a protocol for a web-based service that provides detailed information on available modal options.

This research built upon the EasyConnect I study, which involved an operational test of introducing shared-use electric bicycles, non-motorized bicycles, and Segway Human Transporters (HTs) (known as “low-speed modes”) at the Pleasant Hill BART station, to allow commuters to connect to surrounding employment centers.

The lockers, which are designed for all of the "low-speed mode" vehicles, were almost always used for bicycle storage. And while the lockers were envisioned to be used by BART riders who would complete the last mile of their trip to work, nearly all of the lockers were used by individuals riding bikes from home to the BART station to commute to work elsewhere.

"Roughly 180 respondents (about 40 percent) indicated that they would complete their trip with some other mode other than a bicycle if eLockers were unavailable," the researchers noted. "Thus the eLockers are facilitating bicycle travel for a sizeable share of the sample. Many of these respondents would shift to other modes, and nearly 80 respondents suggested that they would shift to driving an automobile alone. Hence, based on these results, the eLockers may be enabling 15 to 20 percent of the sample to use a bicycle instead of an automobile."

This report has been added to the Best Practices.

EasyConnect II: Integrating Transportation, Information, and Energy Technologies at the Pleasant Hill BART Transit Oriented Development