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Buses with bike racks

Old 07-19-06, 09:08 PM
  #1  
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Buses with bike racks

I am new here, and I guess by my reading, I would be called "car lite" My question is do buses everywhere have bike racks, or just here?
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Old 07-19-06, 10:07 PM
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I don't know if buses have bike racks evrywhere, but they have them here in Seattle. They should have more, though; a few times, I've wanted to put my bike on the bus, but couldn't, because the rack was full...
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Old 07-19-06, 10:09 PM
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Seems that more and more of them are getting racks.

When I was in Kitsap County (Across the Sound from Seattle) about half the busses had racks.

Here in Denver ALL the busses have racks, unfortunately they only hold 2 bikes.

I've heard that they'll sometimes let you bring a bike on the bus with you if they're not very full, but I never bothered to find out.... the only time I ever use the rack is if I'm going somewhere with my wife and plan to abandon her on the way back and go for a ride!
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Old 07-19-06, 10:45 PM
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In Washington DC Metro, the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) buses all have bike racks. WMATA is the main public transit for the entire metro area and control the Metrorail also. But some, maybe most of the smaller bus systems for the suburbs around DC don't have bike racks. For example, DASH buses in Alexandria and Fairfax County connector buses have no bike racks.
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Old 07-19-06, 11:15 PM
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I think it's great that a lot of buses have bike racks, although they're not super useful to me. Most buses that run within a city stop every 600 feet or so, and therefore can't get from point a to point b as fast as I can on a bike, even if they happen to go exactly where and when I'd want them to.

I do think putting racks on buses is a growing trend and I say, the more, the better. Has anybody seen racks that carry more than two bikes? ... four-bike racks seem like a good idea.
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Old 07-20-06, 12:30 AM
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gotta question about racking a bike on a bus...is there a good chance of scraping the paint job on your bike..either by another bike or bad fastening system of the rack itself...i'm thinking of taking a trip on a bus, but haven't seen a bus rack before

thanks
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Old 07-20-06, 12:31 AM
  #7  
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while not every transit provider has racks on its buses (i'm sure there a few stragglers), there has been a definite trend toward adding them. nearly all buses in the bay area, across two dozen transit providers, are equipped with exterior bike storage racks.


Originally Posted by cerewa
I think it's great that a lot of buses have bike racks, although they're not super useful to me. Most buses that run within a city stop every 600 feet or so, and therefore can't get from point a to point b as fast as I can on a bike, even if they happen to go exactly where and when I'd want them to.
i have a similar experience with a local (suburban) bus route. this particular line, which runs on surface streets with speeds limits no greater than 35 mph on the segment i'm talking about, takes approximately 30 minutes to go a little more than eight miles from the town where i live to the walnut creek BART rail transit station. i can ride from my house to the BART station in close to 45 minutes. while i prefer to ride, it's nice knowing that i have the option, like on hot days for example, to put my bike in the rack and hop on the bus to get to my destination.

bus bike racks can be especially useful in hilly cities such as san francisco, in situations where the rider is too tired to do a little hill climbing. i once used a rack on a muni 5-fulton bus on a trip to visit a friend living near USF. since then i've gotten better at charging up modest hills

Originally Posted by cerewa
I do think putting racks on buses is a growing trend and I say, the more, the better. Has anybody seen racks that carry more than two bikes? ... four-bike racks seem like a good idea.
a nearby provider (wheels/LAVTA) has front-loading racks that hold three bicycles; all other bay area providers (to my knowledge) have only front-loading racks with capacity for just two bikes. some providers allow bikes onboard if the rack is full, at the discretion of the driver and depending on the passenger load.

however, i noticed during a trip that san luis obispo county's (central coast, california) regional transit provider, RTA, has both front and rear racks on its buses, so exterior capacity is likely at least four bikes.


Originally Posted by twochins
gotta question about racking a bike on a bus...is there a good chance of scraping the paint job on your bike..either by another bike or bad fastening system of the rack itself...i'm thinking of taking a trip on a bus, but haven't seen a bus rack before
it depends on the rack system, if there are different systems. the racks on local buses are virtually the same, with the fold down rack and a extendable bar hook that grips the front tire. even though the bar hook is snug against the tire, the end is usually cased in rubber, so i can't imagine at damage caused by the bar hook. it's possible that another user could bump or scrape the paint off your bike, provided your bike is in the "front" slot on a two-slot rack.

i have yet to experience any problems with using the racks.

Last edited by BOIP; 07-20-06 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 07-20-06, 08:59 AM
  #8  
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I read once that Hudson county New Jersey was one of the cities with the most bus usage. However, I know of NO bus line that has bike racks. It's really not a problem if you have a small 16' inch wheel folding bike like the Brompton or Dahon Presto Lite.
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Old 07-20-06, 10:35 AM
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The main routes in Ottawa, Canada, have bike racks from April to November (sucks for winter commuters). We can also walk bikes on the light rail.

I don't use them often, but the few times I have I was really happy to have them. As someone who lives in the south-east, rapidly crossing N-S or E-W can be a great time-saver.
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Old 07-20-06, 11:01 AM
  #10  
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We have 'em on every bus. I only use them if I have a breakdown, or to take my bike to the LBS for a serious repair. One nice thing is, if I want to take a quick ride in the city, I don't have to carry my tools because I can take the us home if I break down. A dollar bill for the bus fare is lighter than the tools and tube I usually carry.
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Old 07-20-06, 11:41 AM
  #11  
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All the buses in my city have bike racks. Unfortunately, my trike doesn't fit on them! Oh well...
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Old 07-20-06, 12:46 PM
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When I was stayin in NOLA after the hurricanes mast of the buses had bike racks on the front....the area I live in in SC got some really nice new buses and I was quite suprised that they didn't get bike racks on them but bicycle commuting isn't a very big thing here.
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Old 07-20-06, 01:00 PM
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In my city, they don't have racks on the buses, but you can carry your bike on. I wrecked at our city's 4th of July fireworks show and had to take the bus home. It was no big deal for them to have someone carry a bike on the bus.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:51 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by twochins
gotta question about racking a bike on a bus...is there a good chance of scraping the paint job on your bike..either by another bike or bad fastening system of the rack itself...i'm thinking of taking a trip on a bus, but haven't seen a bus rack before

thanks
A neighbor uses the bus rack and one time got on the wrong bus. It went out to the suburbs at high speed. Taking bumps at speed caused the bike to shift somehow and bent the rear rim so much that the bike couldn't be ridden. I couldn't totally straighten the rim but got the bike rideable with some creative spokewrench work.
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Old 07-24-06, 12:21 PM
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septa (philadelphia) is the most bike-unfriendly transit authority i've ever been on.
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Old 07-24-06, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
I've heard that they'll sometimes let you bring a bike on the bus with you if they're not very full, but I never bothered to find out.... the only time I ever use the rack is if I'm going somewhere with my wife and plan to abandon her on the way back and go for a ride!
At one time I was training to be a metro bus driver and we were told to never let people bring bikes inside the bus for safety reasons. Individual drivers might be exceptions, but they aren't supposed to.
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Old 07-24-06, 04:54 PM
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I don't think bikes on the busses is a good idea. most people would want to bring them on when the weather is sloppy. that means the bikes are sloppy too, and pretty soon evrybody's clothes are sloppy.

But it's obvious that they need to start putting more than 2 bike racks on each bus. here the racks are often full. Today i had my 3rd flat in 3 days. I decided to hop on the bus with my bike to buy a new tire, rather than waste another tube. The bus pulled up and the rack was full to its capacity of 2. I was ready to start hiking, but a guy got off the bus and took his bike. Lucky me!
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Old 07-24-06, 05:09 PM
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In the Los Angeles area nearly all lines have the racks, couple don't, and of course that's the ones I could use. We have two bikes per rack, but I have read that the three bike rack may be coming in the near future. I use the bus a lot to get around the most congested areas and to extend my riding area. I have noticed that in the last 6 months there are more and more people using the racks and some lines are always full. Never had any problem with using the racks.
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Old 07-24-06, 06:14 PM
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The buses here don't have racksbut I put in a few suggestions on their website.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 666pack
septa (philadelphia) is the most bike-unfriendly transit authority i've ever been on.
I thought they let you take bikes on the trains at any time in Philly you use the same part of the car that wheel chair users use. Is it not so? In DC we have restricted hours for bikes. But, they used to make you pass a written test and pay for a photo ID licesnse to take your bike on the train. You had to have the photo ID visibly attached to your clothing if you had a bike in the system. The written test was a cinch, for each question they had a multiple choice answer. You just read each choice, the correct answer was the one that made life most difficult for a bicyclist. It was humilitating treatment. You also had to take a day off work to go downtown during certain hours to take the test. It has gotten better. I guess that what I'm describing isn't the worst treatment of cyclists by a transit authority.
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Old 07-24-06, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bike756
The buses here don't have racksbut I put in a few suggestions on their website.
I think that's a good idea. If your bus system doesn't have 100% bike rack capability, that's a good reason to give them your input.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:38 PM
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We got racks on most busses from San Francisco north 171 miles to Fort Bragg on the coast. Locally they have been so popular that the old 2-bike racks are slowly being upgraded to 3-bike racks.
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Old 07-25-06, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bike756
The buses here don't have racksbut I put in a few suggestions on their website.
Let them know that these racks have been very popular in many cities. And you know that from Bikeforums!
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Old 07-25-06, 12:59 PM
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How does the three bike rack system compare to the two? Seems like if someone had a bike in the first slot and third, getting in and out of the middle might be a bit difficult. Sometimes the buses hit some monster potholes and I'm always amazed that my bike never comes flying out of the rack. That spring loaded arm that covers your front wheel holds pretty well.
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Old 07-25-06, 10:47 PM
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All of the busses in Albuquerque have bike racks, usually two on each bus but some have four racks. The new commuter rail in Albuquerque allows bikes to be brought on board. It just started service about 10 days ago and many cyclists are using it.

http://www.nmrailrunner.com/
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