Ways to use bicycles and transit together:
Suburban to city commute: Bike commute downhill into town, take the train or bus home. Or, keep a bike parked downtown so that you have quick access to more places to eat or shop at lunch time. Avoid rainy weather, bringing your bike with you on transit rather than getting wet. Bike from home to the bus or train, and then continue on with your commute. When you get to your destination, you will have your bike to help you continue on with your trip.
Suburban to suburban commute: Bicycle to the train. Take the train or bus as close as you can to your workplace. Then bicycle to your destination.
Cross rivers and lakes: Many bridges do not have bicycle or pedestrian access. Bringing your bike onboard a bus, train, or ferry can be the answer.
Access national parks: Many National Parks now have buses with bike racks. Having a bike allows you to cover more ground than walking. Acadia National Park and the Grand Canyon are good examples.
Carpooling: Ride with a friend to their worksite and then bicycle the rest of the way to work.
Use two bikes: If you don't want to, or can't bring your bike on transit, then keep an inexpensive bike parked at each end of your transit ride.
Use a folding bike: Folding bikes are small and can be carried onto almost all vehicles. This is especially helpful on airplanes and on Amtrak, which limits bicycle access on many trains (but has great access on others, such as the Vermonter and route along the Pacific Ocean).
Traveling: For someone visiting a city on business, a bike is a great way to get to a nearby park trail.
What transit systems and municipalities can do to increase ridership:
Promote using a bike with transit: The power of suggestion goes a long way. In Philadelphia, SEPTA places stickers on the outside of regional rail cars that say bicycles are welcome.
Add bike racks on buses: Transit systems with successful bike rack programs install bike racks on all vehicles. There is no excuse not to, really. 95% of the cost can be covered through federal funds. Sportworks makes the bike rack of choice. Having never used a rack on a bus before, a cyclist can put a bike onto a sportworks rack in about 15 seconds. The racks fold up so that they extend only 4" infront of the bus without bikes.
Welcome bikes on rail cars: It's not just enough to permit bicycles (Bicycle permits keep cyclists off trains). Bicycles should be welcomed, and there should be information about bicycle policies placed in schedules. Caltrain, a train that heads south from San Francisico, has room for 40 bicycles per train. The New York City Subway, which can be quite crowded, permits bikes on board 24 hours a day.
Install bike parking at all stops: In Europe and Asia, transit systems increase their ridership by having observed bicycle parking at rail stations that rents for $18 a month or $.75 a day and often has a bicycle repair shop. Bike racks, covered bike parking, and bike lockers are very important as well. In Delaware, a cyclist can use a bike locker after paying only the refundable key deposit.
Regional bike plans: Transit systems can work with municipalities to make transit an integral part of the bicycle planning process. If it appears dangerous to walk or bike to a train station or bus stop, fewer people will use transit.