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  1. #1
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    Metra OKs bicycles on trains!!!!!

    Metra Bikes on train policy!
    Finally!!!!!!!
    The new policy:

    * Allows bikes on all weekday trains arriving in Chicago after 9:30 a.m. and departing the city before 3 p.m., and after 7 p.m. on both inbound and outbound trains.
    * Allows bikes on all weekend trains except for the weekends of the Chicago Blues Festival, Taste of Chicago and July 4th fireworks, Venetian Night, Chicago Air & Water Show and Chicago Jazz Festival, and the Friday before the Labor Day holiday weekend.
    * Requires individual bicyclists to be at least 18 years old. An adult must accompany riders 12 through 17. Children under 12 will not be allowed to bring bikes on board.
    * Prohibits tricycles and tandem bikes.
    * Limits the number of bicycles to two per handicapped-accessible car. If priority seating is needed for passengers with disabilities, cyclists may not be able to board or may be asked to leave a train they are on.
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  2. #2
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Good news and a step in the right direction, but all the conditions seem kind of restrictive to me. Portland allows bikes on all trains, all the time. Each low-floor train car has four hanging bike racks, and cyclists are allowed to use the handicapped areas in the train cars as long as they are not in use by disabled person(s). Legally, about 16 bikes are allowed per train car, although the late sunday night record for ZooBomb is 80 bikes in one train car.

  3. #3
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Good news and a step in the right direction, but all the conditions seem kind of restrictive to me. Portland allows bikes on all trains, all the time. Each low-floor train car has four hanging bike racks, and cyclists are allowed to use the handicapped areas in the train cars as long as they are not in use by disabled person(s). Legally, about 16 bikes are allowed per train car, although the late sunday night record for ZooBomb is 80 bikes in one train car.

    MMMMMM......ZoooooBooommmmb.

  4. #4
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    A step in the right direction. Before this I think you could only do this on two or three days a year. Better than nothing. I understand the restrictions during peak hours though, those trains are packed to the brim!
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

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    It is a step in the right direction. What you guys need is something like what New York City has which is an organzation that will fight and sue the transit company. Thanks to Transportation Alternatives, cyclist can ride the New York City subway system even during RUSH HOUR! Yes it's true. I've been in packed cars with bicycle messengers right next to me! It's a beautiful sight.

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Step in the right direction but ultimately useless. We have the same system here, no bikes during rush hour (which is when you'd want to bring a bike on the transit incidentally, farking idiots).

    Which means 6.30 - 9.30 am and 3.30-6.30pm no bikes on transit. Don't even get me started with the suburbia transit, no bikes anytime.

    Idiotic.

    By the way we have zero accomadations for bicycles. It's you bring it on the train with the rest of the passengers, no special cars, no special parking spaces.

  7. #7
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    Are they still requiring prior reservations and a $5 fee? If so, it's not a big victory.

    Koffee

  8. #8
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    The Chicago bus system has a bikerack on the front of every bus, then again, not sure I want to put my bike on the front of the bus
    guess I just need to ride it everywhere
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  9. #9
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    no reservations or extra fees here
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  10. #10
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Good news and a step in the right direction, but all the conditions seem kind of restrictive to me.
    The Metra trains were not really designed (nor do I think they have been retrofitted) for bicycle stowage so I think the restrictions are within reason. Hopefully they will retrofit the cars to accomodate bicycles better and lift the restrictions. I only wish there was this much 15 years ago when I lived in Chicago.
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  11. #11
    DEK
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    I just posted in one of the other threads about this. This is a bunch of marketing B.S. by Metra. This maybe a step in the right direction but it's a step of about 1/2 inch. This policy in no way, shape, or form helps commuters. This is going to be for the occasional rider who wants to go downtown or to the lakefront for a ride. BIG DEAL! I'm a Metra commuter and I'd love to ride my bike to the train, get on the train with my bike, then ride to my office. Then I'd even be able to ride on lunch. But there's no way I could do that with this policy. Trains that arrive after 9:30 and leave before 3pm or after 7pm? Give me a break.

    You want a REAL step in the right direction? It's very simple. Metra adds 1 (or more) cars to the end of the train, pull half the seats out and put in bike racks to hook the bikes to. Then a commuter/rider could get on that car only, hook their bike to the rack, then sit right there and ride in/out. They could even use a couple of the old cars they have sitting around.

    This is just Metra's marketing, feel-good cr@p that they're going to play up saying how great and wonderful they are and help cyclists.

  12. #12
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEK
    I'm a Metra commuter and I'd love to ride my bike to the train, get on the train with my bike, then ride to my office. Then I'd even be able to ride on lunch. But there's no way I could do that with this policy. Trains that arrive after 9:30 and leave before 3pm or after 7pm? Give me a break.
    I hate it when you are right, this made me feel good for at least a couple of hours, then you had to come along and ruin it for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by DEK
    You want a REAL step in the right direction? It's very simple. Metra adds 1 (or more) cars to the end of the train, pull half the seats out and put in bike racks to hook the bikes to. Then a commuter/rider could get on that car only, hook their bike to the rack, then sit right there and ride in/out. They could even use a couple of the old cars they have sitting around.
    Gosh Darn that is a brilliant idea! This would make it an absolutely bike friendly environment. I wonder how many people would take advantage of this if they tried it. If the cars filled up with cyclists and thier overall volume improved, they couldn't do anything except add more cars. It would be the only environmentally and cummunity oriented thing to do.

    So who do you think I should talk to? Maybe we can have this one routed by Monday?
    If only we lived in a perfect world.....

    Is it true that Chicago is considered to be a reasonably bicycle friendly Metro? I have heard that (no matter what ties he has to the underworld) that he is a bicycle enthusiast. Or is that spelled enthusiass? (men on bikes in underwear)



    ~Muffin
    Enthusiass!
    Last edited by thecosmicmuffin; 05-22-05 at 01:30 AM.
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  13. #13
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    Just found out you have to bring your own bungie cord to strap it to the railing. One more thing to carry.

    I could just use my spare tube.
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  14. #14
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    I've always said the best thing Metra could do was add one extra car and make it the bike car. I don't see a need for folks to have to sit with their bikes, however. In Europe, on some trains, the last car of the train is the bike car, and there are hooks along the walls. You just come in and hang your bike, lock it down, and return to your seat. If you fit it with seats and bikes, you won't be able to get very many bikes in that car. Reserve the second to last car (next to the bike car) for cyclists only so they can keep an eye out.

    I know Metra has graveyards for their old cars. I've seen them sitting around when you get to the end of the line. CTA also. If both of them incorporated this, there shouldn't be ANY time restrictions on carrying your bike on the train.

    Koffee

  15. #15
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I've always said the best thing Metra could do was add one extra car and make it the bike car.
    CalTrains has a very good setup. Metra would be wise to just copy it. Many of the regional service trains in France had very large sections that could accomodate bikes. These were placed at the ends of each car.
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  16. #16
    cab horn
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    You realize you can't just add more cars, because stations have a set length so you'd need to replace a for passenger cars for bikes.

    For some reason I highly doubt they'd add even half a train car dedicated to cyclists.

  17. #17
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    Not in the case with Metra. The platforms for Metra are super long. There are times also during off peak train hours where they just close down about half of the trains and force everyone to ride up in the front two compartments. That would be a problem on days when people have bikes- you can't make it to the last car and then run all the way up to the front.


    Koffee

  18. #18
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    P.S. Even if they did have some stops that were shorter, just lengthen it! It ain't rocket science for them. They could do it.

    Koffee

  19. #19
    DEK
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    You realize you can't just add more cars, because stations have a set length so you'd need to replace a for passenger cars for bikes.

    For some reason I highly doubt they'd add even half a train car dedicated to cyclists.
    OK, let's say you can't just "add more cars." It can still be done because if you've ever ridden a Metra commuter you know that they are never full. AND, most of the 2 person seats are occupied by 1 person who spread out so no one else can sit in the seat with them. So, don't add a car; just take the last car and convert it and make all those seflish people share the seats like they're supposed to do to begin with.

  20. #20
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEK
    OK, let's say you can't just "add more cars." It can still be done because if you've ever ridden a Metra commuter you know that they are never full. AND, most of the 2 person seats are occupied by 1 person who spread out so no one else can sit in the seat with them. So, don't add a car; just take the last car and convert it and make all those seflish people share the seats like they're supposed to do to begin with.

    Not true at all. On a regular basis during rush hour I see cars filled with so many people that there is standing room only.

    It is a touchy subject because if there were no cyclists people would want to use the car to sit or stand in, commuters are currently too valuable to Metra to just kick them off for cyclists needing to hang up thier bike. I applaud Metra for making a step in the right direction but by no means am I satisfied enough to stop lobbying. Maybe I will just get a PARATROOPERŪ MOUNTAIN BIKE from the guys over at Montague call it a day. Put some slicks on it for the city, maybe make it into a single speed and carry a bag for it. Those are allowed on Metra anytime, with absolutely no restrictions.
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  21. #21
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecosmicmuffin
    Maybe I will just get a PARATROOPERŪ MOUNTAIN BIKE from the guys over at Montague call it a day. Put some slicks on it for the city, maybe make it into a single speed and carry a bag for it. Those are allowed on Metra anytime, with absolutely no restrictions.
    Your other option would be to just HALO drop into Lake Michigan as part of your commute. You probably want to enclose the bike in a floating waterproof transport case. For pickup, you could do SKYHOOK balloon extraction.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  22. #22
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    For pickup, you could do SKYHOOK balloon extraction.
    I love
    Google
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  23. #23
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecosmicmuffin
    I love
    Google
    Well, actually I was making reference to the Fulton Recovery System.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/95unclass/Leary.html
    The Skyhook System

    By 1958, the Fulton aerial retrieval system, or Skyhook, had taken its final shape. A package that easily could be dropped from an aircraft contained the necessary ground equipment for a pickup. It featured a harness, for cargo or person, that was attached to a 500-foot, high-strength, braided nylon line. A portable helium bottle inflated a dirigible-shaped balloon, raising the line to its full height.

    The pickup aircraft sported two tubular steel "horns" protruding from its nose, 30 feet long and spread at a 70-degree angle. The aircraft would fly into the line, aiming at a bright mylar marker placed at the 425-foot level. As the line was caught between the forks on the nose of the aircraft, the balloon was released at the same time the spring-loaded trigger mechanism (sky anchor) secured the line to the aircraft. As the line streamlined under the fuselage, it was snared by the pickup crew, using a J-hook. It was then attached to a powered winch and pulled on board.

    Fulton first used instrumented dummies as he prepared for a live pickup. He next used a pig, as pigs have nervous systems close to humans. Lifted off the ground, the pig began to spin as it flew through the air at 125 mph. It arrived on board undamaged but in a disoriented state. Once it recovered, it attacked the crew.

    Human Pickups

    The first human pickup took place on 12 August 1958, when S. Sgt. Levi W. Woods, USMC, was winched on board the P2V. Because of the geometry involved, the person being picked up experienced less of a shock than during a parachute opening. After the initial contact, which was described by one individual as similar to "a kick in the pants," the person rose vertically at a slow rate to about 100 feet, then began to streamline behind the aircraft. Extension of arms and legs prevented the oscillation that plagued the pig, as the individual was winched on board. The process took about six minutes.(9)

    In August 1960, Capt. Edward A. Rodgers, commander of the Naval Air Development Unit, flew a Skyhook-equipped P2V to Point Barrow, Alaska, to conduct pickup tests under the direction of Dr. Max Brewer, head of the Navy's Arctic Research Laboratory. With Fulton on board to monitor the equipment, the P2V picked up mail from Floating Ice Island T-3, retrieved artifacts, including mastodon tusks, from an archeological party on the tundra, and secured geological samples from Peters Lake Camp. The high point of the trials came when the P2V dropped a rescue package near the icebreaker USS Burton Island. Retrieved by a ship's boat, the package was brought on deck, the balloon inflated, and the pickup accomplished.(10)
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  24. #24
    mike.pretzel thecosmicmuffin's Avatar
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    Thats even cooler!

    Lifted off the ground, the pig began to spin as it flew through the air at 125 mph. It arrived on board undamaged but in a disoriented state. Once it recovered, it attacked the crew.
    and more entertaining then my link.

    Interesting
    Shake Zula the Mic Rula

  25. #25
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecosmicmuffin
    Thats even cooler!



    and more entertaining then my link.

    Interesting
    It arrived on board undamaged but in a disoriented state. Once it recovered, it attacked the crew.
    That sometimes describes my reaction upon stepping off the plane at SEATAC after a particularly stressful business trip. It just underscores the fact that I need to start saving up for a travel bike.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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