Multimodal Commuting in Harrisburg


I have been hearing strange comments from people at work lately. Many people seem to feel that I am “so lucky” that I live close enough to the office to be able to commute on my bicycle. Normally, I’d launch into my rant about how luck and careful planning are inter-related, but I thought I’d try something more constructive for a change.

CAT operates 15 “park-and-ride” locations, where you can park your car (for free!), and hop on the bus.

Sadly, CAT buses to not have bike racks, so multimodal (bike + bus) commuting is generally not possible. There is another alternative, however. If you have a bike rack for your car, you can drive to a park-and-ride location, and ride the rest of the way to work from there.

I think it’s reasonable to assume that even someone in pretty bad physical condition could ride 4-6 miles without much difficulty. With that in mind, I made a map of the Harrisburg area and superimposed circles with a radius of 4 miles from each of the park-and-ride locations.

4 mile radius from park and ride

But that looks a bit confusing. So, using my advanced jedi powers in the Gimp, I made a slightly more readable version.

All the area within 4 miles of a park and ride

You can see that there really aren’t many destinations in the Harrisburg “metro area” that are more than 4 miles from a park-and-ride location.

Obviously, these are 4 linear miles, and peculiar road layouts, lack of bridges, etc. May make your actual commute a few miles longer.

If you really want to try bicycle commuting, and live further away than it’s practical to ride, maybe this kind of multi-modal commute will be helpful.