Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bike Girl Battles The Bus Redux

(continued from this post)

Bike Girl’s Metro contact came up empty on ways to increase bike access to busses. However, Bike Girl has heard a report that addresses her concerns.

History of Bike Racks: Apparently, Metro used to have bike racks INSIDE the Orange Line busses. Those racks were located in the rear of the bus. However, cyclists found it difficult to access the racks because Metro riders tend to congregate towards the rear of the bus. Metro also says it is dangerous for cyclists to try to move their bikes around while the bus is moving.

Danger: The Orange Line now has triple bike racks on the front of the bus. Metro decided to test out the system on the Orange Line because it is separated from other vehicular traffic. Metro decided that since cyclists whose bike is in the middle position often step into where traffic would be speeding around the bus in order to remove their bike, these racks are unsafe for use on regular busses.

So Now What: Metro says cyclists who want to use their bikes in conjunction with public transit should get folding bikes.

Personally, Bike Girl thinks that is a non-solution. But Metro appears enthusiastic.

In fact, according to the report Bike Girl heard, Metro is working on a program that would provide financial assistance to commuters who want to buy folding bikes. That’s according to Metro’s Bike Planning Manager Lynne Goldsmith.

Do these findings make Bike Girl’s commute across town using the bus any easier? No. In fact knowing that Metro’s best answer to the increase in cyclists is telling them to buy new bikes is discouraging to her.

Since Bike Girl seems to be able to beat the Rapid Bus across town anyway, she’s decided to stop trying to catch the bus, and just ride the 15 miles across town.

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