I have previously done some work on car parking at railway stations in Melbourne, including this map. Others have also written extensively on this important topic.
However, parking at stations covers more than just cars, as accessing public transport by bicycle becomes increasingly popular in parts of Melbourne. Bicycles are discouraged on trains during peak times, so commuters in particular need somewhere to store their bike while they are work.
The main promotion for encouraging people to ride their bikes to stations involves the well-established Parkiteer program. A partnership between Metro Trains and Bicycle Network has resulted in 106 cages being built at stations across Melbourne and Victoria. There is also one at Doncaster Park and Ride for bus passengers.
Accessing these cages means having a swipe card, obtainable with a $50 bond. Each cage has space for 26 bicycles through a combination of ‘Ned Kelly’ bike racks (requiring bikes to be mounted horizontally) and on-ground hoops. Some cages are larger, such as the one pictured above at Hoppers Crossing.
The latest figure from 2015 was that over 9,000 people were registered to use Parkiteer cages. Unfortunately, usage data is not publicly available so it is not possible to know how many of these people are actually using the service.
While Parkiteer gets a lot of publicity and promotion, this is not the experience of the vast majority of bike riders who cannot or do not use this service for whatever reason.
If you ride to the station, you are probably more likely to use a public bicycle hoop to lock your bike. These public hoops are often full to overflowing, which means that many resort to using a nearby pole or fence.
Why is this so?
According to the latest station access data, 5,139 people used a bicycle to get to and from a station each weekday (1.1% of all entries). Given that this data comes from 2013-14, I would be willing to bet that this figure is now much higher. This would be due to the increases in bicycle usage in Melbourne over the past few years and the expansion of Parkiteer cages across the Victorian rail network.
While we are nowhere near the levels of train-bike interchange seen in countries like the Netherlands, there is still significant demand for people to ride their bicycle to and from stations.