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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 03-01-07, 10:41 PM   #1
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Woohoo! Bike Racks on the Bus

Central Arkansas Transit just told members of the Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkasas that by summer there will be bike racks on all the buses. Happy Dance!
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Old 03-01-07, 10:56 PM   #2
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Congratulations! They can really broaden one's travelling horizions - literally. Enjoy.
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Old 03-01-07, 11:33 PM   #3
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do many folks use that? At what distance does the ease of travel become greater than the hassel or loading/unloading, the boredom of not riding, and the time wasted waiting?
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Old 03-02-07, 02:08 AM   #4
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I’m with you on that one as I find that I am as fast or faster then most buses plus it is more direct but there are lots of people who have a limit on how far they can/want to ride so buses really help extend where they can go. Not to mention in lot of urban areas the bike friendly routes are not that plentiful so buses help people get through the worst of it.
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Old 03-02-07, 07:04 AM   #5
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I definitely see bikes on bus racks around here. I'm not sure why, because I'm not seeing them on routes where the bus drives on a freeway (which usually would mean that the bus could get you somewhere faster than you can ride). But a couple of other situations I can think of where I would want to take a bus are if I found myself unprepared for the weather.... or if I had a flat or breakdown I couldn't, or didn't want to, fix right away.
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Old 03-02-07, 07:31 AM   #6
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Our new mayor here (of just under two months of being in) has stated he's adding bike racks to all the buses. Currently not a single bus has a bike rack, so I'm looking forward to this!
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Old 03-02-07, 11:10 AM   #7
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I've rarely used one, but was very happy to when I did. One time was due to sudden illness - I was ok riding a few blocks home, but did not feel up to the 20km. Rode up to the nearest bus station, took a bus that runs every 5 minutes, and got off at the station nearest my place.

Biek racks on busses are great is you have a bus system with rapid-transit routes and/or bus-only expressways like we do here. Use the bus to get from one general area to the other quickly, then biek for the local trips at each end.
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Old 03-02-07, 11:50 AM   #8
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If there needs to be a transfer. If you miss the connect you have to wait an extra halfhour on some busses.

I will also use them one way since my bus pass records only the number of times I use it. This is very true when the bus shuts down for the night. I just ride back.

Third some busses don't go far enough and walking sucks.

Note Rollerblades and folding bikes work also. Work pays for 5 dollars of my monthly bus card.
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Old 03-02-07, 12:34 PM   #9
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A lot of times in the city I ride with no tools or spare tubes, as long as i'm going to be near bus routes, I can ride home if I have a flat or breakdown.

Here, the bike racks are often full, even in the winter time.

One time the bike rack ws full so I rode my bike while two friends bused across the city. On a four mile inner city trip, I got there about 10 minutes before they did. But on a longer trip, the bus might be faster of course.
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Old 03-02-07, 12:42 PM   #10
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Loading and unloading takes 5 seconds, tops. I use the bus fairly frequently... mostly if I'm just plain tired or recovering from some long ride, or the roads are nasty icy/slushy. My mountain bike works well on semi-slick streets, but it's HEAVY and SLOW. Riding it 14 miles to work (mostly downhill) wears me out... Riding the 14 miles back home (mostly uphill) kills me.

I have over 1,000 miles of organized rides scheduled this summer... on top of the 150+ miles I normally do a week. I'll probably be using the bus quite often.

As far as speed, If I leave my work at the same time as the bus I normally take home I can beat the bus to the other end by about 5 minutes. But that's pushing pretty hard, and killing myself for 5 minutes time savings. If I'm tired it's much better to just grab the bus. Plus, it's not at all uncommon to have 10-15 mph headwinds on the way home... combine that with the hills and yeah. I usually ride anyway because I'm not in a huge hurry, and it's good for me.

On the other hand, downtown I can usually beat the buses anywhere.

Here we also have the light rail, which I use to get across town, and it's very fast and really nice.
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Old 03-02-07, 01:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjohnnytarr
do many folks use that? At what distance does the ease of travel become greater than the hassel or loading/unloading, the boredom of not riding, and the time wasted waiting?
Well, they are nice if you are doing business and don't want to get sweaty on the way there. You can also use it so that you are fresher to start a ride on the other side of town. I've also used them when I had a breakdown on the bike, like spokes snapping and allowing the wheel to tweak into an unrideable pretzel.

It's good in general because its hilly here, being able to get downtown and start riding there will help a lot of people.
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Old 03-02-07, 09:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kjohnnytarr
do many folks use that? At what distance does the ease of travel become greater than the hassel or loading/unloading, the boredom of not riding, and the time wasted waiting?
As others have attested, these racks are extremely easy to use. Having my bike allows me to get to a place on only one bus in many instances. If the weather is poor, but I must attend a meeting in business clothes, the rack on the bus is the only thing that gets me there while still looking presentable.
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Old 03-02-07, 10:55 PM   #13
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Buses are great for when:

1. You catch a really bad mechanical problem and don't have the tools to fix it. I could have avoided a 7.5 mile walk home if I had the money for bus ride the first time I caught a flat tire with no pump, spare tube, or patch kit, nevermind the time my hub bearings died and caused the rear wheel to rub against the chainstays, leaving me stranded 12 miles from home

2. You need to go farther than you can tolerate riding. Of course, I like to ride very far, so I rarely use it for this option.

I'd have to agree on the speed of buses though. It takes me as long to get to the university from my house on bike as it does by bus. That's what drove me to stop taking the bus (in Orange County).

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Old 03-03-07, 11:13 AM   #14
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Problem with buses in my locale is that I work in the suburbs and live in the city. Buses within the city are convenient, but to the suburbs, I have to leave for work about 2 hours earlier than I need to. Returning from work is OK, takes about 40 minutes, but the bus into the city only runs about 4 times in the afternoon. After 6:00 pm, forget it. There are bike racks on the front of the bus and people use them, but normally only in the city.
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Old 03-03-07, 12:49 PM   #15
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We don't have buses in my town ...but then again we don't need them...it is only 12 square miles But you sure wouldn't know it from the number of freakin' cars. I swear for a town of 10k there must be at least 30k cars! They currently have one of the main roads shut down for sewer repair and are detouring the traffic down main street. What a mess, at 8 pm last night traffic was backed up for at least 6 blocks But with predicted gas prices of $3 a gallon by May that may change

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Old 03-03-07, 02:42 PM   #16
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We got our bike racks on our buses about two years ago. The bus drivers hated them and you. They did not assist you in putting the bike on the rack and I think a couple of them tried to run me over. Overall, the bike racks increased ridership at least twenty per cent. I love them.



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Old 03-03-07, 03:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
We don't have buses in my town ...but then again we don't need them...it is only 12 square miles But you sure wouldn't know it from the number of freakin' cars. I swear for a town of 10k there must be at least 30k cars! They currently have one of the main roads shut down for sewer repair and are detouring the traffic down main street. What a mess, at 8 pm last night traffic was backed up for at least 6 blocks But with predicted gas prices of $3 a gallon by May that may change

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3 cars per person? That sounds about right. The question is, how can they afford to own so many?
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Old 03-04-07, 12:50 PM   #18
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3 cars per person? That sounds about right. The question is, how can they afford to own so many?
Most can't afford them, but they buy them anyway.
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Old 03-04-07, 12:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
We don't have buses in my town ...but then again we don't need them...it is only 12 square miles But you sure wouldn't know it from the number of freakin' cars. I swear for a town of 10k there must be at least 30k cars! They currently have one of the main roads shut down for sewer repair and are detouring the traffic down main street. What a mess, at 8 pm last night traffic was backed up for at least 6 blocks But with predicted gas prices of $3 a gallon by May that may change

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And I bet NOTHING makes you happier than zooming past all that gridlock on your bicycle!
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Old 03-05-07, 12:11 PM   #20
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I remember running across one stat that says the average American family has more cars then kids.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:52 PM   #21
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Strangely enough, I bet the average American family also has more bikes than kids. They just don't get used as much.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:43 PM   #22
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Well, I got to break-in the bus bike rack last Sunday.

I had to take a laptop downtown to the Alltel Arena and use it for controlling part of the Jumbotron screen in the arena. The weather was warm and it was nice to not be too sweaty when I arrived. The bus took me in from the burbs, dropped me off at the cross street that let me take the bridge across the river then it was just a few blocks pedal to the arena. I arrived on-time, not tired, and fresh. Very nice.
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