I never tested the bike rack on a bus until this weekend and enjoyed the experience. I’ve always used my bike on trains and experienced first hand the power of multimode transport for the carfree. However, this was my first weekend using it in conjunction with the bus and was surprised at how useful it can be for those who don’t have vehicles.
I took my bike to the bus depot at Newark New Jersey since most of their fleet have bike racks that are never used! This actually works to our advantage so don’t start spreading the news! LOL! Using my monthly bus card, I boarded five separate bus lines for free crossing restricted highways and up huge hills.
Here’s what I discovered.
1. Multi-mode transport allows further travel with less cost --- I could not believe how cheap it was when traveling by bus compared to train. Once I reached the last stop, it saved a lot of wear and tear on my legs leaving me fresh to travel even longer distances. I ended up racing back to the bus depot to hop on another bus!
2. I could take any bus as long as it was headed in the right direction --- Most bus riders have to wait long periods of time if they miss the bus since they are walking. However, many bus lines often head in the same direction and end up only a couple or several miles apart. As a multimode bus user, I could make up that distance in 10 minutes or less which means EVERY BUS is fare game and ok with me! I don’t have to wait an hour for one bus and have the option of taking 2or 4 different lines. I hope people don’t find out about this or the racks will be full from the start.
3. The bus (with bike rack) opens a lot destinations --- Trains are great but they don’t go everywhere and buses certainly open many more options. There are areas that would be hard to get to because of the huge hills involved in climbing. The bus carries my bike up those climbs effortlessly and gives me the option of going there again. I don’t feel restricted to riding in one location anymore. I intend to experiment with more bus lines and other bus depots that will take me further out.
4. It takes only ten seconds to learn the mechanics --- I thought it was going to be hard but videos on YouTube showed how easy it was to open, unfold and load your bike on the rack. You should put the bike on the second rack so someone else can load their bike if this should ever happen. I intend to buy a small cable lock to prevent theft.
Well, that’s all for now. I suspect it would have cost about $25.00 dollars in gas for the amount of travel I did this weekend but it only cost me about $5.00 dollars for the train. If you have access to the bus with a bike rack, it’s time to take advantage of it and I regret not doing this sooner. I consider this another tool for the carfree.
One bus left me by the Edison National Historical Park. What a surprise because I forgot it was located in West Orange New Jersey. He was an amazing man.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
Edison's Black Maria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia