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Old 04-28-12, 07:09 PM   #1
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Does your local bus allow folders on?

I emailed my transit agency to ask what their policy for folders on the bus and the response was "We do not have a policy for bringing bikes on board other than the bike rack on the front of the bus."

Not sure how to read the response. I think it says bikes on ONLY if on the front. I would like to bring the folder on because it will not fit on the front rack.

Let me know if you've been allowed to bring yours on and please include the transit agency name so that I can get a copy of their policy to use to get ours clarified/improved. I have a trip in July that will start with the local agency and then on to Amtrak. If I can't get on local I need to do a different trip.
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Old 04-28-12, 10:45 PM   #2
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In Portland, they have to go on the front rack. Unless you had a Brompton or smaller, I don't think you'd want to bring one on anyway. Of course if you managed to stuff it inside luggage, the driver and your fellow passengers would tolerate it.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:22 AM   #3
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In Portland, they have to go on the front rack. Unless you had a Brompton or smaller, I don't think you'd want to bring one on anyway. Of course if you managed to stuff it inside luggage, the driver and your fellow passengers would tolerate it.
Good point about it being in luggage. My thoughts are that the smaller bikes like the Brompton are smaller than all strollers. However, my other thought is that you will get too many variations and too many people pushing the idea of what a folder actually is and the driver would have to decide which can come on and which cannot. Once that happens typically they just say no to all.

One last thought is that out of the many riders they serve here they are unlikely to get many folders in the first place.

Am I wrong about folders not fitting on front bus racks? Would they in Portland for example? I think the tires are too small on the 16 inch bikes. I guess I can try one out at the station near work (while the bus is just sitting there).
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Old 04-29-12, 06:07 AM   #4
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Officially here, all bikes must go on the front racks. Unofficially, fold it up and schlep it on - ain't nobody gonna say nuthin'.
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Old 04-29-12, 07:49 AM   #5
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I contacted the A2 transit authority since there was nothing on their site about folding bikes. They said I could take my folded bike on the bus so long as it is kept out of the aisle. So I folded it up and took it on the bus and placed it where strollers are normally stored. I'm sure if you got a cover for your folder it wouldn't be a problem. The bus driver probably wouldn't say anything even if you didn't have it covered so long as the bus isn't crowded.
Not a great pic but here it is folded on the bus:
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Old 04-29-12, 08:13 AM   #6
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Casbah - A side question. What brand of helmet is that? Looks fun.
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Old 04-29-12, 11:17 AM   #7
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Front racks work Ok with 20" wheel bikes .. many BMXers use the Bus , here.
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Old 04-29-12, 03:08 PM   #8
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Casbah - A side question. What brand of helmet is that? Looks fun.
Giro. Got it on Amazon.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:16 PM   #9
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wow! Los Angeles is actually got something on other cities as far as public transit and bikes.


In fact the only reason I started thinking about folders (and lurking here, hi) was becasue I was reading the metro rules and saw this

# Folding bikes with 20 inch or smaller wheels can be taken on board. Make sure your bike is folded and stored under a rear seat so as not to block aisles and doorways. Motorized folding bikes are not allowed.

http://www.metro.net/bikes/bikes-metro/



I have a been looking for a commuting solution as neither my high end roaad race bike nor my crappy 40lb mtb were working very well on pblic transit. When I saw that....I thought "folding bike? huh..." then I remembered I have a friend with a bike friday.... Saw the prices on those and flipped. Not that they aren't worth it...you're talking to someone with 4 bikes and no cars, I've got no problem spending $ on bikes but it's just not in the budget as much as I wish it was


I ordered a Link D8 yesterday from Thor! Thanks BF Folding Forum!! CANNOT WAIT until it arrives!!
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Old 04-29-12, 08:09 PM   #10
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wow! Los Angeles is actually got something on other cities as far as public transit and bikes.


In fact the only reason I started thinking about folders (and lurking here, hi) was becasue I was reading the metro rules and saw this

# Folding bikes with 20 inch or smaller wheels can be taken on board. Make sure your bike is folded and stored under a rear seat so as not to block aisles and doorways. Motorized folding bikes are not allowed.

http://www.metro.net/bikes/bikes-metro/



I have a been looking for a commuting solution as neither my high end roaad race bike nor my crappy 40lb mtb were working very well on pblic transit. When I saw that....I thought "folding bike? huh..." then I remembered I have a friend with a bike friday.... Saw the prices on those and flipped. Not that they aren't worth it...you're talking to someone with 4 bikes and no cars, I've got no problem spending $ on bikes but it's just not in the budget as much as I wish it was


I ordered a Link D8 yesterday from Thor! Thanks BF Folding Forum!! CANNOT WAIT until it arrives!!
Good way to screen for the driver at "less than 20 inch wheels. Thanks.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:32 PM   #11
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Good way to screen for the driver at "less than 20 inch wheels. Thanks.
Same here for Austin, tx. I am surprised we have something here that other cities don't have in terms of bike infrastructure

http://www.capmetro.org/riding/bikes.asp

"Folding bicycles are permitted on buses, but must not block the aisle."
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Old 04-29-12, 09:02 PM   #12
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On another train of thought, I would think that the really tiny "A-Bike" or clones, and other similar micro folders shouldn't be an issue at all to bring on board (inside) a bus, especially if you put it in it's carry bag. Those are smaller than a typical baby stroller.
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Old 04-29-12, 10:59 PM   #13
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While I don't see anything on Metro Vancouver's Translink website saying anything regarding folding bikes on buses, I have asked and gotten written responses that they are allowed so long as they are in a bag. When I had a folder, I occasionally took it inside the bus, but only when I knew the bus would have lots of space. I have also taken it into the bus, without it being covered. No problem. But again, there was plenty of room esp at the front of the bus.
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Old 04-30-12, 12:17 AM   #14
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I agree, something A-bike-ish shouldn't be a problem. I bring my Razor A5 scooter (adult size, 8" wheels) on our buses all the time, and no one has complained. Of course it all depends on how crowded the bus is. If half the seats are empty you could probably bring a bike like my Swift on. If, OTOH, it's like some of our buses at rush hour where you have 20 people standing in the aisle, no one is going to be happy about sharing space with that lumpy, pointy thing.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:18 AM   #15
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For my strida, I have no problems whatsoever during rush hours on a bus and I don't take it on the bus unless it rains. I basically turn my carradice into a shoulder bag with a laptop strap and remove my mks quick release pedals fold down the handlebars which I rarely do usually. All that's left is just a super thin stick on wheels which I just lock up both wheels and use it as a pole to lean my arm on when it's standing room only. No complaints from people at all and the bus driver doesn't even bat an eye since you always carry the bike on the other side of you so it'll look even smaller!
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Old 04-30-12, 09:02 AM   #16
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I emailed my transit agency to ask what their policy for folders on the bus and the response was "We do not have a policy for bringing bikes on board other than the bike rack on the front of the bus."

Not sure how to read the response. I think it says bikes on ONLY if on the front. I would like to bring the folder on because it will not fit on the front rack.

Let me know if you've been allowed to bring yours on and please include the transit agency name so that I can get a copy of their policy to use to get ours clarified/improved. I have a trip in July that will start with the local agency and then on to Amtrak. If I can't get on local I need to do a different trip.
What kind of front rack your transit bus is using?!? Almost all bicycle front rack on buses take a minimum of 40cm / 16" diameter wheel, which means that even a Brompton would fit (tried it here with Translink and my Dahon as well as Arizona (using the same bar restraining system as our Translink buses in Vancouver) with the slower then molasses bus schedule. The restraining bar that usually goes on the front tire will now have to go on the top tube. It's a similar restraining bar system they use with our Massey Tunnel bus shuttle service as well. So I'm not sure why are you worrying so much on something you perhaps haven't tried fitting because you might feel embarrassed holding up the driver?!? Don't be. If you're new to this, pick a morning weekend when it's not busy and the driver is willing to wait for you fumbling around with the rack. Once you get proficient with it, it's a piece of cake. If you worry about taking the bike in, why not again pick a weekend and try it out for yourself. Why are you doubting yourself so much when you can at least give it a go on the local bus circuit. That's how I did it. With Translink, you need a bag to cover the bike during rush hours. Bag encloses the dirt and chain, so other patrons don't get tire marks or chain oil on their pants or skirts. Personally, I don't even bother taking the bike in the bus if the rack is empty because I have to take an extra step to fold it and bag it during rush hour.
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Old 04-30-12, 12:54 PM   #17
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Don't some places people steal the bike right off the rack when the bus is stopped? that's what I would be most concerned about since the average folders here cost more than the most expensive department store bike. And during rush hour good luck keeping an eye on your bike or even when someone is trying to make off with it while you are stuffed in the bus with everyone.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:13 PM   #18
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Don't some places people steal the bike right off the rack when the bus is stopped? that's what I would be most concerned about since the average folders here cost more than the most expensive department store bike. And during rush hour good luck keeping an eye on your bike or even when someone is trying to make off with it while you are stuffed in the bus with everyone.
At least in Vancouver with Translink, I see people putting up their expensive Marinoni, Trek, Specialized etc bikes that cost a lot more than a Brompton or equally as much as a Tern Verge S11i or the Tern Verge X20. As long as you keep an eye on your bike standing at the front of the bus, then it's fine. For extra security, set the bike at its highest gear, lower your seatpost down and fold your pedals, so if the thieves decide to do a grab and dash, they would have to figure out how to unfold the pedals, raise the seat and then lower the gearing. And they aren't gonna get pretty far with my Speed Uno since I have geared high.

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Old 04-30-12, 01:56 PM   #19
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Don't some places people steal the bike right off the rack when the bus is stopped? that's what I would be most concerned about since the average folders here cost more than the most expensive department store bike. And during rush hour good luck keeping an eye on your bike or even when someone is trying to make off with it while you are stuffed in the bus with everyone.

When I put my road bike on the bus rack I use a very simple cable lock. It takes maybe 30 extra seconds. It's not enough security to lock it up in the city but it's probably enough of a deterant from someone stealing it off the bus rack. A would be thief wouldn't have enough time to pull out a tool and clip the cable before I noticed (hopefully) My thought is any would be thief isn't even expecting a bike to be locked to the bus rack and not even try.

This is on an express commuter bus which is a bit of a different crowd then the regular metro. I'm also lucky enough to live at the first stop and can always get the front seat to keep an eye on the bike. Even still, I lock it up, we're talking about a bike that was over 3k.... I won't take it on the normal metro buses but do take the roadie on trains. I've also locked it up inside a train car so I could sit about 10 feet away and not have to stand.

My Link D8 ships out today or tomorrow (Im excited, can't you tell!!!!!) so hopefully this will no longer be needed.


here's the lock I use, I actually got it to lock my snowboard up at big bear!
http://www.amazon.com/Dakine-DAKINE-.../dp/B001BP1YK8
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Old 04-30-12, 03:01 PM   #20
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What kind of front rack your transit bus is using?!? Almost all bicycle front rack on buses take a minimum of 40cm / 16" diameter wheel, which means that even a Brompton would fit (tried it here with Translink and my Dahon as well as Arizona (using the same bar restraining system as our Translink buses in Vancouver) with the slower then molasses bus schedule. The restraining bar that usually goes on the front tire will now have to go on the top tube. It's a similar restraining bar system they use with our Massey Tunnel bus shuttle service as well. So I'm not sure why are you worrying so much on something you perhaps haven't tried fitting because you might feel embarrassed holding up the driver?!? Don't be. If you're new to this, pick a morning weekend when it's not busy and the driver is willing to wait for you fumbling around with the rack. Once you get proficient with it, it's a piece of cake. If you worry about taking the bike in, why not again pick a weekend and try it out for yourself. Why are you doubting yourself so much when you can at least give it a go on the local bus circuit. That's how I did it. With Translink, you need a bag to cover the bike during rush hours. Bag encloses the dirt and chain, so other patrons don't get tire marks or chain oil on their pants or skirts. Personally, I don't even bother taking the bike in the bus if the rack is empty because I have to take an extra step to fold it and bag it during rush hour.
I am not doubting myself nor am I embarrased about holding up the driver, but I do not like to hold up a bus full of passengers that might be trying to make a connection that otherwise might cost them an hour. We have very long headways here so if you miss one bus you wait typically an hour. For some that could be the loss of a job.

Also, if I can put my folder inside I can leave a space for someone else - see comment above about waiting an hour for the next bus.

I do not want to start a two week vacation with my daughter in tow and train schedule to keep only to step on the bus and be told that we cannot bring the bikes on.

I have had many bikes on the front and am familiar with that, but I do worry about it getting taken as well as damaged by other bikes. Had I not been at the station when another rider loaded his bike my Brooks saddle would have been ruined by his open ended steel handlebar that was hitting the saddle (i took out a multitool and raised my seat out of the way).

What I am interested in is getting an idea of which agency allows it so I can contact them and get their policy so that I can use it here with our transit agency. Always better to have an example to cite.
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Old 04-30-12, 03:08 PM   #21
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When I put my road bike on the bus rack I use a very simple cable lock. It takes maybe 30 extra seconds. It's not enough security to lock it up in the city but it's probably enough of a deterant from someone stealing it off the bus rack. A would be thief wouldn't have enough time to pull out a tool and clip the cable before I noticed (hopefully) My thought is any would be thief isn't even expecting a bike to be locked to the bus rack and not even try.

This is on an express commuter bus which is a bit of a different crowd then the regular metro. I'm also lucky enough to live at the first stop and can always get the front seat to keep an eye on the bike. Even still, I lock it up, we're talking about a bike that was over 3k.... I won't take it on the normal metro buses but do take the roadie on trains. I've also locked it up inside a train car so I could sit about 10 feet away and not have to stand.

My Link D8 ships out today or tomorrow (Im excited, can't you tell!!!!!) so hopefully this will no longer be needed.


here's the lock I use, I actually got it to lock my snowboard up at big bear!
http://www.amazon.com/Dakine-DAKINE-.../dp/B001BP1YK8
I do that on occasion as well. Allows me to relax while I am inside the bus. I don't want to chase anyone and would like to avoid a problem.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:22 PM   #22
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I am not doubting myself nor am I embarrased about holding up the driver, but I do not like to hold up a bus full of passengers that might be trying to make a connection that otherwise might cost them an hour. We have very long headways here so if you miss one bus you wait typically an hour. For some that could be the loss of a job.

Also, if I can put my folder inside I can leave a space for someone else - see comment above about waiting an hour for the next bus.

I do not want to start a two week vacation with my daughter in tow and train schedule to keep only to step on the bus and be told that we cannot bring the bikes on.

I have had many bikes on the front and am familiar with that, but I do worry about it getting taken as well as damaged by other bikes. Had I not been at the station when another rider loaded his bike my Brooks saddle would have been ruined by his open ended steel handlebar that was hitting the saddle (i took out a multitool and raised my seat out of the way).

What I am interested in is getting an idea of which agency allows it so I can contact them and get their policy so that I can use it here with our transit agency. Always better to have an example to cite.
Check my setup when I do travel on/off buses. No questions asked when I carry this baby around. By the way, the bike is usually covered with the Dahon Carry On bag, but this photo is used as an illustration what the Burley Travoy can do as a bike carrier! Btw, this trailer can be towed by my Dahon; notice the seatpost is off the bike because the trailer hitch is preventing me to retract the seatpost down completely. This setup never got refused on the bus because as far as everyone and the driver is concerned and with the bag on, it is just a piece of luggage, like any ordinary 28" luggage! And with my backpack on, most people think I'm a tourist which of course I am. And oh -- with Amtrak and with this setup; it's a dream.



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Old 04-30-12, 07:54 PM   #23
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I don't use a folder, but I've encountered a guy that did on the bus. The bus driver was giving him crap. It wasn't the slightest bit crowded. All the other bus drivers told him to take the folder in the bus, because it's small anyway. I guess it doesn't hold securely in the rack.

If worse comes to worse, cover it up with something or whatever, so they won't know.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:33 PM   #24
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At least around here, thefts from bus racks are exceedingly rare. I've heard of it happening maybe once or twice in a decade and a half. Actually, I'd be more worried about my bike being stolen from the train. I usually stand, but sometimes I'll take a seat a few rows away and I do keep an eye out. My bike is 2' from those big double-doors that stay open for a few seconds at each station. It'd be awfully easy for someone to pull a bike out onto the platform just before the doors close, and then disappear.

Still not something I worry about much though.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:40 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
Check my setup when I do travel on/off buses. No questions asked when I carry this baby around. By the way, the bike is usually covered with the Dahon Carry On bag, but this photo is used as an illustration what the Burley Travoy can do as a bike carrier! Btw, this trailer can be towed by my Dahon; notice the seatpost is off the bike because the trailer hitch is preventing me to retract the seatpost down completely. This setup never got refused on the bus because as far as everyone and the driver is concerned and with the bag on, it is just a piece of luggage, like any ordinary 28" luggage! And with my backpack on, most people think I'm a tourist which of course I am. And oh -- with Amtrak and with this setup; it's a dream.


That is pretty self sufficient. Does that get checked as baggage on Amtrak or can you bring it with you? I am not familiar with the proper terms for Amtrak so what I mean is it a "carry on" similiar to an airplane carry on?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlowBoy View Post
At least around here, thefts from bus racks are exceedingly rare. I've heard of it happening maybe once or twice in a decade and a half. Actually, I'd be more worried about my bike being stolen from the train. I usually stand, but sometimes I'll take a seat a few rows away and I do keep an eye out. My bike is 2' from those big double-doors that stay open for a few seconds at each station. It'd be awfully easy for someone to pull a bike out onto the platform just before the doors close, and then disappear.

Still not something I worry about much though.
Most of my concern is based on fear of the unknown. Reality in this situation is that it is very unlikely to happen.
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2015 Bike Friday New World Tourist, 2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2011 Mezzo D9 (x3), 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro, 2014 Xtracycle Electric, 2014 Surly Big Dummy electric assist
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