In recent years the bicycle has been experiencing increasing attention as important mode of transport in inner cities. There are various reasons, but the main issues are the flexibility, sustainability and low costs of the bike.
However, it is mainly competitive on short distances. Public transport is also sustainable and there are a lot more good arguments for using it, especially on longer distances, but there are also some disadvantages – for example inflexibility – compared to the car.
However, cities have to work on strict regulations regarding noise and pollution and there are some more reasons, why planners and scientists have started to think about alternative mobility options to the car, which has accompanied and influenced the mobility demands and patterns in modern societies for many years.
A combined use of the bike and public transport – so called multi- or intermodal traffic behaviour (Franke 2004: 4) – is seen as a competitive alternative to the car, since it connects the advantages of both modes. Good solutions have to fulfil the needs of customers in a society that has changed rapidly in the last decades. The topic intermodal connections between cycling and public transport includes three different parts: Bike parking at public transport stations ‚Bike & Ride‘, taking bikes into public transport and bike renting systems.
However, the state of art of all of these topics could be improved in Stockholm compared to cases in other European cities and countries. First of all, there are only few possibilities to take along bicycles in Stockholms public transport system. Second, the parking facilities around public transport stations are too few and mainly in a bad condition. And at last, Stockholm‘s renting bike system ‚Stockholm City Bikes‘ – which is running since September 2006 – is improving from season to season, but compared to other cases on a very low level.
When the author of this paper was calling Krister Isaksson (who is responsible for planning for cycling in the Stockholm‘s administration) to ask for an interview about this paper’s topic, Isaksson answered: “Intermodal connections? That don’t exist in Stockholm!” (Isaksson 2009).
Author: Birkholz, Tim