By Roland Behee, Community Transit Strategic Planning Unit Manager
The option of taking my bike along on the bus really adds flexibility to my daily commute.
I live about seven miles from work and commute by bicycle in late spring, summer and into early fall. As the weather turns cold and wet and daylight becomes scarce I often mix it up with a bike and bus commute.
Living one mile from Community Transit's Swift line, I can bike from home to Swift in about five minutes. The on-board bike racks make it simple to board, sit down and enjoy a relaxing ride on a warm, dry bus. At the other end, I deboard Swift with my bike and, again, have about a one mile, five-minute ride to work.
What's really great about combining the bike with bus travel is flexibility, time savings and extended range. It's flexible because it allows me to take the bus in the morning if there is rain and yet I can bike all the way home in the evening if the weather clears. I save time because I can ride to the bus stop in five minutes whereas walking can take 15 minutes or more.
I also appreciate the bus option when I don’t feel like biking the entire distance and just want to sit down for part of the trip. Having the bike along also gives me more options for running errands on the way home with easy access to my bank, the bakery and other destinations that would take longer to visit on foot.
In our area, it's really easy to incorporate a bike into your bus commute since every bus is equipped with racks on either the outside (regular buses) or interior (Swift). They are simple to use and instructions are readily available.
If you're like me, once you've taken a bike on the bus you will probably think of all kinds of new possibilities for travel.