The bicycle is often understood as a disjointed ‘feeder’ mode that provides access to public transport. In this paper, it is argued that combined use of the bicycle and public transport should be understood in a broader perspective, especially where bicycles link to higher speed and higher capacity public transport, such as the train.
Cycling and public transport can have a symbiotic relationship forming a hybrid, distinct transport mode, which should be reflected in transport planning. The bicycle is as a versatile way to soften the rigid nature of public transport and thus accommodate diverse individual travel needs and situations. Public transport can be seen as a means to dramatically extend cycling’s spatial reach. In this paper, the Netherlands is used as illustrative case because of the relative maturity of its bicycle-train connections. The case shows that the synergy between high speed, high flexibility and increased degree of choice are the fundamental characteristics to understand the functioning of this system in a wider spatial context.
This Working Paper is no longer available. The article is published in Transportation Research Part A.