Are Cycle Centers Effective Transport Interventions? Evaluating King George Square Cycle Center in Brisbane, Australia
Cycle Centers have emerged as a new travel demand management (TDM) intervention in US and Australian cities in recent years. These large end-of-trip facilities for cyclists offer bicycle storage, changing rooms, lockers, showers, bicycle repair and other amenities, on a user-pays basis. Their effectiveness as a TDM measure is not known, which this research sought to rectify. Australia's first cycle center opened at King George Square in Brisbane's central business district (CBD) in 2008. Operated by the private sector, and marketed as cycle2city, the center provides storage for 420 bicycles. An evaluation framework was derived directly from the stated aims and objectives of its funders and its manager-operators. The research used a questionnaire of cycle2city members, conducted in April 2009, supplemented by interviews with funding agencies, the center's operators and members. Route maps collected information on trip distances and the routes members chose to ride. The results show who is using the center, the travel modes they have been attracted from, and the transport benefits. Most users are men in white collar jobs. The majority of members commenced commuter cycling on joining cycle2city, switching from transit and the private car. Congestion-reduction benefits were small. Disconcertingly, the facility is not generating enough revenues to meet operating costs some two years after opening. The findings have direct implications for transport policy in cities regarding the role and potential use of cycle centers for TDM purposes.
Transportation Research Record
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