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Old 12-22-06, 09:32 PM   #1
ken cummings
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Is your Public Transit Bike Friendly?

Our in-town buses can carry two bikes on a front rack. The county wide buses can hold three bikes on a front rack. The big buses going to San Francisco have either two-bike racks or one luggage compartment for bikes. With strict limits some of the long-distance buses will let bikes in back. During off-peak hours the rapid transit trains will let a few bikes, with the proper permit, ride in the back car or so I am told.

How about in your area?
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Old 12-22-06, 09:42 PM   #2
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The buses all have racks for 2 bikes on the front, if the bus isn't crowded, they'll let you take a third bike on in the back of the bus.

The light rail trains allow 6 bikes on each train, even during rush hour.

I took my bike on the light rail to my last interview. (I start mid-January!)
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Old 12-23-06, 01:40 AM   #3
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Our buses allow for 2 bikes, which isn't enough these days. Riders with bikes often have to wait some time for a bus to stop with a space open on certain routes and times. Our light rail has 4-8 bike hooks per train. Except for the older, higher cars, I have never seen bikes be turned away from boarding. One summer evening there were 18 of us in one car during rush hour. As long as the wheelchair door isn't blocked, fellow passengers tend to be amazingly polite about it. The train operators don't seem to care as long as other passengers aren't complaining. I do hope they come up with a light rail car design that "officially" holds more bikes than 4. It seems like every year there are more bike commuters who use it.
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Old 12-23-06, 04:34 AM   #4
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You guys have a very liberal bike policy on light rail that I envy. Our lightrail will not allow bikes during rush hour unless it's a folding bike. Our bus story is totally different.

I read once that Jersey City has the most bus usage in the entire USA! If it's not, this city is certainly one of the top 5 because every avenue has a one or three bus lines that go right through. Unfortunately, not a single bus line has a bike rack which is incredible.
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Old 12-23-06, 04:42 AM   #5
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San Diego buses have improved greatly. Now all buses have bike racks, unlike the past. However, there are so many cyclists in San Diego, two racks often are not enough. Sometimes, with lack of regular buses, that can cause long waits; should you want to board your bus. Now, the commuter trains are very bike friendly. That is to be appreciated.
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Old 12-23-06, 07:43 AM   #6
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My job has me traveling quite a bit so I get to see the various mass transit systems, typically buses. The town I live in is too small for mass transit (12sq miles) I have been in Charleston, SC for the past several months, all of their buses have front racks and I would say they are well utilized, I have no idea if they will allow bikes on the bus itself, I will have to find out. Greenville, SC also has racks on MOST of their buses, I only saw occasional use of them. Fayetteville, NC has racks on some buses and I have never seen them in use. I know in Charleston I will quite often see 2-3 bikes waiting at the bus stop and the bus pulling up has a bike already in the rack. Most of the bikes are cruisers or low end MTB, so at least they are being utilized.

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Old 12-23-06, 11:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
Our in-town buses can carry two bikes on a front rack. The county wide buses can hold three bikes on a front rack. The big buses going to San Francisco have either two-bike racks or one luggage compartment for bikes. With strict limits some of the long-distance buses will let bikes in back. During off-peak hours the rapid transit trains will let a few bikes, with the proper permit, ride in the back car or so I am told.

How about in your area?
All of the transit buses in Pierce, King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties ( the most urbanized part of the state ) have racks with space for at least two bicycles. Many have room for three bikes. In and around Seattle, especially during rush hour, the racks are often full. You can't bring your bike in the bus even during non-rush hour. Amtrak trains have bike racks but you have to pay extra to use them. I'm not sure about the commuter trains.
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Old 12-23-06, 01:09 PM   #8
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Most buses around town cam hold two bikes on their racks. And bikes are allowed on trains even during peak hours.
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Old 12-23-06, 02:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
Our in-town buses can carry two bikes on a front rack. The county wide buses can hold three bikes on a front rack. The big buses going to San Francisco have either two-bike racks or one luggage compartment for bikes. With strict limits some of the long-distance buses will let bikes in back. During off-peak hours the rapid transit trains will let a few bikes, with the proper permit, ride in the back car or so I am told.

How about in your area?
Ours are just starting, then ran a pilot project for a year, and decided it was a good idea, so all new buses will come with racks, but older buses will not be retrofitted, don't know if they will retrofit the ones they bought in the last year since the pilot started or not. The problem is that this does nothing for those who use the subway or streetcars, where generally bikes are permitted, during off-peak times. However bike parking at subway stations is generally good, and bike lockers are available for a monthly fee. Personally, I would like to be able to rent one, on an occassional basis, but that is something that will happen in the future....
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Old 12-23-06, 02:05 PM   #10
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None of the buses in the city have bike racks. Here, the buses stop running at 6PM and they come by at most every 30 minutes, that leads me to believe they aren't really all that people friendly either. I think I've ridden the buses once, when I was maybe 5, so it's been 15 years. Even if I didn't have a car, it would still be quicker to bike than to wait on our buses. It probably wouldn't be hard to talk them into letting your bike on though, there isn't a lot of riders on them most of the time.
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Old 12-23-06, 02:19 PM   #11
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^^^
Where do you live? The buses stop running at 6.00 pm? Do they roll up the sidewalks as well ?

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Old 12-23-06, 02:29 PM   #12
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All the busses here have bicycle racks. I've never had to use them, and they rarely appear full. But they are available.
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Old 12-23-06, 03:42 PM   #13
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A bike rack on a Houston METRO bus? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! I've heard they're "talking about it." Ya know how that goes
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Old 12-23-06, 03:53 PM   #14
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Our Metrolink commuter trains here in the LA area have a special place for bikes. They can hold two bikes. Just be sure to enter at the the doors that has a picture of a bike.

The down side? The conductor can throw you off if they need the bike space for passengers.

This is why I take my folder if I ride the train. I keep it at my feet. Folders can't be thrown off.

I don't want to be thrown out on the mean streets of East Anaheim!



When I first moved to Corona in 1981, asked why the busses didn't have racks (they did in San Diego). Only a few did. Now I believe they all do. Progress...
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Old 12-23-06, 04:12 PM   #15
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I have never personally taken my bike on an Alameda County bus, but I believe that it is indeed bike friendly.

Our local train system, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), is very bike friendly, except for rush hour (which is when bikes aren't allowed). It is awesome because BART is an absolutely fast, cheap way to take my bike into the city for a bike ride from San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. Any Bike Forum members that have ridden BART will probably have the same attitude.
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Old 12-23-06, 04:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
You guys have a very liberal bike policy on light rail that I envy.
It's true, we do. The Portland area has a long and rich tradition of citizen groups getting what they want, starting back in the '70's when they thwarted the installation of new freeways and actually ripped one out of downtown. I think this has something to do with it. There would be candlelight vigils outside of Tri-Met headquarters and protest skits at light rail stops. No elected official or Tri-Met employee would want to go through that. We used to have to purchase a $5 one-time "bike pass" to bring a bike on Tri-Met. They did away with that, so now there's really no restrictions other than 2 bikes to a bus and don't make a pest of yourself or your bike on the train.

Now if the bike riding craze spread through the "entrenched corrupt" class of the elected official/public employee of urban America in the East and Midwest, you'd be set.
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Old 12-23-06, 04:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
How about in your area?
There is nothing. The CAT(Central Arkansas Transit) says they are working on getting racks but stymied by lack of funding.
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Old 12-23-06, 04:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East Hill
^^^
Where do you live? The buses stop running at 6.00 pm? Do they roll up the sidewalks as well
Pretty much in Little Rock. The last bus for downtown where I live leaves at 5:26pm. The last bus going out leaves at 5:15pm If I do transfers, I can leave as late as 8:00
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Old 12-23-06, 05:07 PM   #19
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they had front racks, but have moved back to under-carriage bike loading here in s nj (bus)
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Old 12-23-06, 05:23 PM   #20
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No racks. And once the asswipe bus driver came with-in inches of sideswiping me.
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Old 12-23-06, 07:08 PM   #21
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No racks on buses and no bikes allowed on the Metro during rush hour. However the bus drivers are considerate towards cyclists.
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Old 12-23-06, 07:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by East Hill
^^^
Where do you live? The buses stop running at 6.00 pm? Do they roll up the sidewalks as well ?
In a backwards city of 120,000
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Old 12-23-06, 08:29 PM   #23
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DC area:
- bike racks on all Metro buses. no bike racks on "The Bus" (Montgomery County) or the Fairfax connector buses
- no bikes on the Metro during rush hour and four bikes to a train in special parts of the train only on off-peak hours (except for folding bikes of course)
- bike racks and lockers at all metro stations. the lockers are the best bet for obvious reasons, and very secure, although the process for reserving one for rental is long and beauracrary-laden.

so public transit bike-friendliness here is a mixed bag, really. there's some good and some bad.
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Old 12-23-06, 08:44 PM   #24
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Portland MAINE: The primary bus system, METRO, has 2-bike racks on all buses, but I'm not sure about the smaller systems run by surrounding towns. I've used METRO's a couple of times, no problems. I'm not aware of any time of day restrictions. We're not big enough to have any light rail.
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Old 12-23-06, 09:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubi
Our Metrolink commuter trains here in the LA area have a special place for bikes. They can hold two bikes. Just be sure to enter at the the doors that has a picture of a bike.

The down side? The conductor can throw you off if they need the bike space for passengers.
Wow, thanks for the heads up! I can see them not letting you board a crowded train, but I think once you're on, they should let you stay on.

I've taken the Metrolink from OC to downtown LA in the early morning hours a few times. I'd hate to unexpectedly get thrown off in Commerce!
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