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Thread: Bikes On Metra

  1. #1
    Arschgaudi Mayonnaise's Avatar
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    Bikes On Metra

    http://www.state.il.us/ltgov/forms/p..._petition.aspx


    Hello All You Good People,
    An initiative is trying to get passed that would allow bicycles on Metra commuter trains. If you would please follow the link and sign the petition you may keep one car off the road, saving the planet just a little. Also, please forward this link to as many people as possible. We did it with Kryptonite, we can do it with Metra. We've been trying 20 years and are hoping 2005 is the year we finally win. Thanks so much.


    Attention Joe, Koffee, can we post this somewhere that will guarantee maximum exposure.?
    Work To Eat
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    Don't get me wrong, I just signed the petition. I've been taking Metra 5 days a week for the last 10 years and the last time I talked to a conductor about bikes on the train they were very against it.

    Their big issue with bikes on the train is that it will undoubtedly screw up the schedule. They have the automatic wheelchair ramps because of ADD, but if there is no law that demands they carry bikes, they won't do it.

    I would love to twist their arms and make them take my bike on the train, I would be quick and efficient and not make the train late, but imagine a few dozen six year children taking the train from winnetka to hubbard woods for a kindergarden field trip. Imagine they all had bikes they wanted to carry. Okay, now imagine the big businessman trying to get from Chicago to lake forest.

    metra is not going to let this happen without a fight.

  3. #3
    Better than you since 83! junioroverlord's Avatar
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    Bikes are allowed on the trains here in LA. It's quite possibly one of the greatest most helpful things in the world. I mean, that and the fact that most buses are equipped with bike racks as well. I hope you guys get that legal support, good luck.
    "Riding bikes on the street is the fuggin jam!" Juvi-Kyle

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    jerk-for-hire
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    in most cities bikes are allowed on the rail system, i'm very surprised the chicago area doesn't....even atlanta which has the worst transit ever allows bikes on marta...seattle doesn't have a rail system but has bike racks on the buses

  5. #5
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junioroverlord
    Bikes are allowed on the trains here in LA. It's quite possibly one of the greatest most helpful things in the world. I mean, that and the fact that most buses are equipped with bike racks as well.
    Same in Cleveland...always on the cutting edge....

  6. #6
    Arschgaudi Mayonnaise's Avatar
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    the idea is to allow bikes during off peak hours (non rush) and weekends.
    Work To Eat
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    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Even the MBTA which had, until just recently, among the most restrictive regulations for bikes on subways allows them on the commuter rail.

  8. #8
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinez
    metra is not going to let this happen without a fight.
    regardless, we are digging in too.
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  9. #9
    I'm setting the example. crazyjohnson's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. They wont let me take one on the green line when going into town (though you can on most other colors) so I had to use the commuter rail to get my bike downtown. There is a lot more room to put bikes on a commuter train - thats why this seems strange (though they wont let you on with a bike during peak times).

    I actually live right by the metra - goes RIGHT in back of my apt - so this might be useful to me. But then again the bike path along the lake is a few blocks over.


    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    Even the MBTA which had, until just recently, among the most restrictive regulations for bikes on subways allows them on the commuter rail.

  10. #10
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
    the idea is to allow bikes during off peak hours (non rush) and weekends.
    They should look at BART in SF for a model. They allow bikes only during off peak and weekends. Seems to work from everything I've read. Although ideally the should allow bike all the time to increase ridership, which is hopefully the goal of any public transit system. They should work with what the riders want not dictate who can and who can't ride. Oh well, my 2 cents (which I'm sure I'll get change back)
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  11. #11
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal
    They should look at BART in SF for a model. They allow bikes only during off peak and weekends. Seems to work from everything I've read. Although ideally the should allow bike all the time to increase ridership, which is hopefully the goal of any public transit system. They should work with what the riders want not dictate who can and who can't ride. Oh well, my 2 cents (which I'm sure I'll get change back)
    problem is that one bike = 2 to 3 people and put a disaster into the picture and you have an even bigger disaster. A train full of people will self evacuate, a train mixed with bikes would be a freakin mess.

  12. #12
    Senior Member shishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinez
    Don't get me wrong, I just signed the petition. I've been taking Metra 5 days a week for the last 10 years and the last time I talked to a conductor about bikes on the train they were very against it.

    Their big issue with bikes on the train is that it will undoubtedly screw up the schedule. They have the automatic wheelchair ramps because of ADD, but if there is no law that demands they carry bikes, they won't do it.

    I would love to twist their arms and make them take my bike on the train, I would be quick and efficient and not make the train late, but imagine a few dozen six year children taking the train from winnetka to hubbard woods for a kindergarden field trip. Imagine they all had bikes they wanted to carry. Okay, now imagine the big businessman trying to get from Chicago to lake forest.

    metra is not going to let this happen without a fight.
    Can't remember the last time I saw a family and all of them with their bikes on a train, isn't that why they make SUVs?

    People have their bikes on the subways here all the time, not really a big problem. Of course rush hour you are suppose to use first or last car and not permitted on our train line during rush hour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ostro
    problem is that one bike = 2 to 3 people and put a disaster into the picture and you have an even bigger disaster. A train full of people will self evacuate, a train mixed with bikes would be a freakin mess.
    Wrong thinking, friend. It works fine here in Washington DC- currently the most paranoid security laden city in the country. Bikes ride metro except rush hours, not allowed on escalators, first and last train cars only, and you cant load on the middle door. It works, no longer a controversy here. We have bike racks on every single metro bus also, can ride all times, no extra charge. It took a long time and a lot of attitude shifting, but its the right thing to do.

  14. #14
    THC Freedom Fighter karmical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostro
    problem is that one bike = 2 to 3 people and put a disaster into the picture and you have an even bigger disaster. A train full of people will self evacuate, a train mixed with bikes would be a freakin mess.
    but a person using bart with 5 large bags taking up 2-4 seats with their luggage on the way to the airport is just fine right? honestly bikes take up less space than a person with 2 large carry ons and a rolling suitcase.....

    and while we're at it, in the event of a disaster, i'll be damned if i'm leaving my bike behind...to hell with what that sign says about leaving your bike behind.....

    another option are manned bike locking stations....like in the downtown berkeley bart station, and bike lockers....but i think there should be cyclist only cars as well as bratty kid free cars as well as cellphone free cars.....

    end rant now...

  15. #15
    Senior Member shishi's Avatar
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    petition signed.

    Good luck.

  16. #16
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    the NYC subways allow bikes at all times (although they suggest avoiding rush hours...understandable) i've never seen a problem with it at all. people seem to have a good sense on when to bring a bike on or not. somehow it works fine. petition signed.

  17. #17
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karmical
    but a person using bart with 5 large bags taking up 2-4 seats with their luggage on the way to the airport is just fine right? honestly bikes take up less space than a person with 2 large carry ons and a rolling suitcase.....

    and while we're at it, in the event of a disaster, i'll be damned if i'm leaving my bike behind...to hell with what that sign says about leaving your bike behind.....

    another option are manned bike locking stations....like in the downtown berkeley bart station, and bike lockers....but i think there should be cyclist only cars as well as bratty kid free cars as well as cellphone free cars.....

    end rant now...
    I like the idea of 1 or 2 bike cars. From both a congestion and a social stand point. The idea of everyone in the car commuting by bike would lead to great conversation.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

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    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal
    I like the idea of 1 or 2 bike cars. From both a congestion and a social stand point. The idea of everyone in the car commuting by bike would lead to great conversation.
    exactly! AND, if people have fun doing it, chances are they'll ride their bikes more often. some people need to know that there are others out there before they join in. i'm all for it.

  19. #19
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karmical

    and while we're at it, in the event of a disaster, i'll be damned if i'm leaving my bike behind...to hell with what that sign says about leaving your bike behind.....
    My point exactly!

  20. #20
    THC Freedom Fighter karmical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostro
    My point exactly!
    judging by some of those i have met while riding to and from....we'd be better off without those that i could save instead of carrying my bike out of harms' way.....


    ok enough of this.....

    time to go outside and ride......

  21. #21
    oh..so...crusty.. crustedfish's Avatar
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    for clarification to non-chicagoans......

    The CTA who manages/operates the "L" train system allows bikes on trains except during rush hours.

    The METRA is a larger, commuter-type system that reaches like 7-8 counties, which does NOT allow bikes on trains.

    If you've ever ridden on a METRA train, it is SUPER tight! I can't imagine WHERE I'd put my bike, except in the loading/unloading areas of the train. It might require an entire train car!

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have METRA accept bikes...its just a tall proposition, thats all.

  22. #22
    idée fixée iamjberube's Avatar
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    signed it.

  23. #23
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    For clarification....are the metra trains a amtrak commuter? On our amtrak commuter line between Sacramento and SF there are 6 hooks per car for bikes.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  24. #24
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Metra would be more like Caltrain, sort of. Caltrain serves a large corridor though and being only one line it's not really a traditional hub and spoke system. Metra is a commuter rail system designed to provide suburban rail service into the city center.

    This would be similar to the MBTA Commuter Rail here in Eastern Mass (generally considered to be the benchmark for US commuter rail systems actually) or the Metro-North system around NYC.

  25. #25
    Peddler Seamless's Avatar
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    Metra (Chicago suburban rail transit) reportedly today responded that the only available space would be space reserved for wheelchairs and they don't plan to eliminate that.

    Metra cars, unlike many around the country, do not have commuters sitting at one level--most, if not all, are bi-level, and require stepping up from the ground about 5 steps, in a narrow vestibule, then immediately making a R or L right-angle turn through self-closing sliding doors. It's not a configuration similar to CTA train cars which have a large open area right at the double-wide doorway (and like Wash DC metro, or Bart in SF). There is no space at the entrance/door for bikes without impeding traffic, at least on cars of the current design.

    Possibly somebody at Metra envisions accidents such as Rachel Barton experienced with her cello.

    CTA is not the problem. Many buses now have racks to fit bikes on the front.
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