TriMet on Bikes on Bus

Apparently TriMet is following some of our discussions here about maxing out capacity for bikes on bus and MAX.

Here’s a note I recently received:

This is Kiran Limaye, bicycle coordinator for TriMet. I believe we met at a TPAC meeting some time back.

A while ago there was a post on your blog about how much we can scale the bikes on transit concept. With higher bike mode shares, most ‘platinum’ level cities focus on high quality parking instead of allowing bikes on board.

With that in mind, I wanted to let your readers know about recent efforts to improve our bike parking. They include:

  • On-demand smart card lockers,
  • Leveraging light rail project funds to support attended bicycle parking facilities downtown and,
  • Attended bike parking for Rose Festival & Pedalpalooza

Kiran also points out that TriMet now has an e-mail notice list specifically for Bike on Bus issues. You can sign up for it through their e-mail subscription page.

I’m glad to hear TriMet is thinking about this, but I’d still like to see them look at putting triple racks on frequent service routes!


8 responses to “TriMet on Bikes on Bus”

  1. Fred Hansen wrote me a letter telling me they’ve committed to “testing the triple-bike racks concept recommended by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on the Budget. Installation of two racks on TriMet’s diesel-electric hybrids will be referred to TriMet’s Bus Change Review Committee.”

    So…. be patient. Sounds like they’re going to test them out.

  2. Triple racks on buses are a good thing, and it’s not really rocket science.

    Not much else that can be done beyond that with buses, is there?

    Similarly, for light rail, the current vertical-hook thing on MAX seems to be pretty much the ultimate solution for bikes on that mode.


    This may seem silly now, because they only run in a downtown area where bicycles are probably about eight times as fast when you count wait time. But, once they begin making a Lake Oswego or Eastside run, it may become relevent:

    Bikes on Streetcar?

    In addition to MAX-style vertical hooks… would it be possible to put bike racks on the front and/or back of the streetcar, like on a bus? I know their bumpers conceal the coupler, but could the rack conceivable sit just above the bumper in a way that would be non-threatening to motorists unless it was actually in use with bikes on it?

  3. I’m not sure it’s an issue for Eastside, since a bike is still faster than Streetcar in circulator service. But I’ll make sure the question gets brought up in the LO discussion.

  4. Not much else that can be done beyond that with buses, is there?

    Is there some reason bikes can’t be on the back of the bus? I suppose security might be an issue, but that is something that could probably be dealt with with.

  5. There are further problems with bikes on the rear than simply security concerns. Note that in order for someone boarding a bus with a bike that he would have to wait at the stop, then when the bus pulls up, run to the rear, mount the bicycle on the rack (out of the driver’s vision, who would therefore not be able to see if the person had problems mounting the bike, changed their mind and left, got injured, etc.), and then run to the front door to board and pay his/her fare. All this while the passengers already on the bus are groaning at having been delayed. It is quite possible that such a degradation in service would drive away more non-bicycle customers than the two or three further that it would accommodate.

    I am not against bikes on buses; on the contrary, I am all for them. However, a better solution must be found.

  6. I’d hate to have the bus drive away as I was loading/unloading my bike.

    Not as much as you would if you were standing in front of the bus. I see the point although I wonder if that isn’t solveable as well.

  7. Not as much as you would if you were standing in front of the bus.

    Indeed, that’s why the protocol is to make eye contact with the driver before loading your bike and as you exit the bus inform the driver that you’re unloading.

    Perhaps that could be done from the rear with a signaling buzzer and closed circuit video, but it’s more complicated.

    In some parts of Asia I understand that they throw bikes on top of the bus…

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