September 1, 2006
Bike-on-Bus Capacity Highlighted
We've discussed here the fact that TriMet bike racks on the front of buses are often full. Yesterday the topic hit the "in Portland" section of the Oregonian.
Word is that TriMet will be testing racks that will hold three bikes on some routes next year.
September 1, 2006 10:04 AM
how about the trains? I watched two go by with no room for bikes--the driver of the first one even said over the intercom, "Bikers wait for the next train." I had to haul my out of shape ass all the way to Lloyd Center from Old Town under my own power. !!
Bus capacity seems to depend on the route. In four years I've only faced a full rack once.
September 1, 2006 10:26 AM
Evan Manvel, BTA Says:
Trains were also mentioned in the article -- we think we can fit two hooks in where there are only one right now.
September 1, 2006 10:33 AM
Chris Smith Says:
The bus versus train question is slightly nuanced. To the extent that we can get more bikes into the existing bike space on trains, that's great.
But until we get bikes on the OUTSIDE of MAX cars, on MAX we trade bike space for passenger space, which is a tougher call (are you will to get off with your bike if more passengers get on?) than just adding more racks to the outside of a bus.
September 1, 2006 2:05 PM
I would not put a bike on the outside of a MAX - I don't think it'd last two stops without being stolen. A bus has the driver (and the gas pedal) protecting my bike.
Maybe its worth thinking about bike shuttles? Especially for those dealing with more challenging topography (e.g. West Hills.) Its a rough idea - but maybe one of those things that will be a necessity in 5 years.
September 1, 2006 2:15 PM
"Evan Manvel, BTA Says:
Trains were also mentioned in the article -- we think we can fit two hooks in where there are only one right now."
That is totally possible. I've seen a group of guys get on, with 5 bikes! Each had a velcro strap that they applied and hung each bike side by side in addition to the single metal hanger. All 5 bikes in one bike bay!
September 1, 2006 11:54 PM
Terry Parker Says:
People should come first when on busses and Max. When Tri-Met introduced the newer low floor busses, seating capacity was reduced as compared with the standard busses. The same was true with the newer low floor Max cars. Seating capacity was further reduced when bike hooks were installed on the newer Max cars. Less seating capacity equates to less people friendly transit. If people ride bikes, they should not expect them to be carried inside transit vehicles. The seating of passengers should come first.
Bikes carried on transit should also be an extra fare. They take up passenger space on Max and require an additional expense to the transit system for the special hardware to accommodate them. .
Furthermore, the bike racks on the front of busses add to congestion, specifically when a bus stops in a travel lane at a curb extension and waits there while a bicyclists attaches or removes his or her bike to the front of the bus.
September 5, 2006 4:22 PM
Jen Massa Says:
South Metro Area Rapid Transit (SMART) based in Wilsonville, just added two buses to the fleet that have 3 bike capacity on the front bike racks. These buses will be in service within the next week or two and will most likely be used on routes #201 and #1X.
September 5, 2006 8:02 PM
Chris Smith Says:
As a weekly user of the #201, I'll look forward to trying them!
September 6, 2006 9:07 AM
The Tillamook County Transportation District (TCTD) has 3-bike racks on our newest buses, which have been on the street for about a year. These buses often travel our intercity route to Portland. As far as I can tell they've worked just fine. In the summer 5%+ of our boardings on all of our fixed routes include a bike.