This doesn’t happen to me as much as it used to, thanks to Community Transit’s policy to allow bikes inside the bus if it is not too crowded. In the past week I have had my bike both inside and outside of buses. It is not as care-free to hold your bike inside a bus as to have it in a rack, but it is far better than wondering if you’re going to get to work in the morning.
If you’d like to see how easy it is to use a bike rack, the fun way, see this bike rack rap. Most of Community Transit’s racks work just like this (without the dancing).
Community Transit has had bike racks on all of our buses since 1996, and people have grown to rely upon them. Passengers with bikes make up about 1.3 percent of our boardings overall, but some routes have much higher usage.
- We had six bikes on a Swift bus recently out of 34 passengers.
- Routes 201/202 and Route 275 had 4.5 percent of customers board with bikes in April.
- My former Route 207 had 9 percent of boardings with bikes that month.
But each bike rack has its difficulties. Trilogy 3 racks are very similar to the 2-racks, except that we need to wire our turn signals to the front of the racks so they are visible. That is time-consuming and creates potential maintenance issues. The V-3 racks are hard to use, in not only my opinion, and loading the middle bike without stepping into traffic can be challenging, especially if your bike is heavy or you are small (that’s why the Community Transit V-3 racks now have the middle spot removed).
Luckily, in the Puget Sound area we have the country’s leading manufacturer of transit bike racks. Both King County Metro Transit and Community Transit have worked with Sportworks in the past few years to come up with a 3-bike rack that maintains a safe turning radius, allows bikes to be loaded independently, meets Washington State Patrol guidelines for lighting and how far in front the rack can extend, and can be quickly and easily used by any bicyclist.
If you’d like to read more about bikes-on-buses around the country, see this report.