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42 Between August and September 2007, King County and accommodating these devices on transit is as much a Metro conducted a survey to estimate the number of bicy- concern at small agencies as it is at large agencies. One large cles carried by its fleet. The results showed that Metro buses, agency addressed the concern succinctly: it tries to "balance trolleys, vans, and vanpools carried an estimated 14,779 customer desire to bring bikes on board with the ability to bicycles per week during this period (King County Metro accommodate them during the peak period." 2007). According to this report, transporting bicycles on its vehicles is an essential part of Metro's commitment to inter- modal transportation and its contribution to the region's air quality goals (M. Lemeshko, King County Metro, personal communication, May 18, 2010). SURVEY RESULTS Challenges and Concerns Figure 29 shows that accommodation of bicycles on transit vehicles, as with other large items, is viewed primarily as a concern (36%). Frequencies of the other three responses FIGURE 30 If you indicated that bicycles are a very important hovered around 20% (and two agencies answered that they or somewhat important concern, why is it a concern for your did not know to what extent bicycles were of concern). Many agency (mark all that apply)? agencies also added comments in response to this question, clarifying their bicycle policies and limitations. Overview of Agency Policies Given the increasing prevalence of bicycles in urban, subur- ban, and rural areas as a means of commuting as well as rec- reation, most of the responding agencies facilitated some sort of support for the device. The extent to which each agency accommodates bicycles primarily varies based on opera- tions (i.e., bus versus rail), vehicle capacity, and the size and type of population served. Among the surveyed agencies, the oldest known bicycle policy dates from 1974, around the time of that particular system's inception (BART); however, the policy was amended in 1998. The second oldest policy, which prohibits bicycle stowage, dates to 1980 (Ottumwa). In most cases, agencies' bicycle policies were established, or FIGURE 29 Indicate whether bringing bicycles on your vehicles in some cases updated, within the past 15 years. is considered an issue/concern/challenge for your agency. Bike Racks One medium-sized agency commented on the appropri- ateness of the question, deeming it "a `good concern' [we Table 23 shows that of the 38 agencies that operate buses, have] more bikers than we have racks for at times!" In con- 32 (84%) reported that they feature bike racks on at least trast, a small agency admitted that it has "very few requests some of their operating fleet (n = 38). These agencies fea- for bicycles," but even so, "new vehicles, when purchased, ture external bike racks on an estimated average of 90% of will come with racks on them." their fleet, with 24 of 32 agencies (75%) reporting 100% bike rack coverage on at least fixed route services. One agency, Figure 30 shows specific agency concerns over accom- LeeTran, carries bike racks on one supervisor vehicle as modating bicycles in or on their transit vehicles. Limited well; according to the operations manager, a rack that holds capacity was of greatest importance--49% of all agencies two bicycles on the supervisor vehicle allows the agency to identified it as a problem (or 87% of those that indicated transport bikes "if a bus breaks down or if bike racks can- accommodating bikes was at least somewhat of a concern). not accommodate demand, particularly on the last trip of the Bicycle usage has steadily increased throughout the nation, day" (Goyette 6/2/2010).

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43 TABLE 23 connection between bikes and buses" and acknowledges the DOES YOUR AGENCY OFFER BICYCLE RACKS ON THE transit operation may "eventually need to look at sacrificing EXTERIOR OF BUSES? seating space for bikes on the vehicles" (M. Bartholomew, Yes 84% (32) Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit, personal communica- tion, Apr. 12, 2010). No 16% (6) n = 38. Size Limits Most agencies (approximately 80%) employ bike racks Of the 13 agencies that currently accommodate bicycles that handle two bikes at a time; only six bus-operating aboard buses, six require that the bikes be foldable. New agencies feature bike racks of different sizes. Las Cruces York MTA's policy includes an exception to the rule: "Fold- RoadRUNNER noted that the agency has "experimented ing bicycles are permitted on local buses provided that they with 3-bike racks on two buses, but are finding issues with are folded and do not obstruct the aisles or doorways. Full headlight interference." Two other agencies responded that (non-folding) bicycles are only permitted on board when some buses in their fleet carry three bicycles. One small buses are being used to replace train service." Three agen- agency, Downeast Transportation, which operates the Aca- cies that allow bicycles on board buses describe this as an dia National Park Island Explorer, reported that some of its informal practice: in these cases, accommodating the bike buses "carry four bicycles, [and] the rest carry six bicycles," is usually left to the discretion of the driver. One noted that to accommodate the significant recreational demand. the practice "is discouraged because of passenger safety, but still tolerated" if the driver deems it allowable; and a few Although the survey did not query the different possible noted that in practice, bicycles are allowed only if the exter- locations of bike racks on vehicles, one agency noted that nal racks are full and there is available space on the vehicle. some buses "have bike storage under the vehicle." One of the agencies profiled in the bicycle literature review, Golden Philadelphia's SEPTA has specific regulations regarding Gate Transit, has a similar storage system. allowable bicycle size: bikes are not allowed inside buses unless they are collapsible and fold to the size of a standard Bicycles Aboard Buses piece of luggage. Folding bikes with a tire size greater than 20 in. are too large to accommodate on the bus and could be Twenty-five of 38 agencies (66%) currently do not allow placed on the bike rack. bicycles to be brought aboard their buses (Table 24). Las Cruces RoadRUNNER noted that "prior to two years ago, Managing Bicycles Aboard Vehicles the policy allowed bikes on buses at driver discretion. This was changed to `no bikes' because of safety concerns. We Overall, seven of 13 agencies (54%) allow bikes (foldable or are again looking at options for allowing bikes on buses due all) to be brought inside on all routes and vehicles at all times to capacity problems with the exterior racks." (Figure 31). However, some agencies (four of the 13 allowing bikes on board in general, or 31%) noted that bicycles could TABLE 24 be brought on buses only during specific times of the day. DOES THE AGENCY HAVE A POLICY THAT ALLOWS One stated that bicycles are allowed on board "usually only BICYCLES TO BE BROUGHT ON BOARD (INSIDE) BUSES? in emergency situations or last trips." Two agencies provide Yes 34% (13) a designated storage area or parking spot for bicycles inside all buses; another two have such a location on some vehicles. No 66% (25) The two agencies with dedicated spaces on all vehicles also n = 38. allow bicyclists to use unoccupied wheelchair spaces for their bikes, as do the other agencies that allow bicycles on The transit administrator elaborated on the survey com- the vehicles. The agencies that reported a dedicated spot on ments, noting that now "passengers are stranded" if the bike some vehicles either have an onboard parking spot on "com- racks are full. The agency's Transit Advisory Board will be muter rail" (SEPTA), or "interior vertical racks for three considering the issue of whether to allow bikes on the buses bikes" (Community Transit's Swift BRT). Another agency again. An informal review by staff "didn't find agencies that maintained that "folding bikes only" "must remain in the allow bikes on the buses." The city is also looking at "invest- same space as the customer." ing in bicycle lockers at some location where there might be higher demand, to let people park bikes" rather than bring Six of 14 agencies (43%) limit the number of bicycles them on the bus. He noted that the city's risk management allowed inside a bus or train when wheelchairs are already office has expressed interest in removing all bike racks secured in the vehicle (Table 25). SEPTA stated that there are from the exterior of buses, which is of concern to the tran- no limits on rail vehicles, but buses are limited to two standard sit administrator because he "strongly believes in the modal bikes per bus if wheelchairs are already aboard. MARTA also

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44 has no regulations on rail if wheelchairs are present, but will not allow bicycles on a bus if wheelchairs are present. FIGURE 32 Bicycles: Which of the following is true about drivers providing assistance (buses) (n =14)? FIGURE 31 When may bicycles be brought on board vehicles (n = 13)? TABLE 25 DOES THE AGENCY LIMIT THE NUMBER OF BICYCLES ALLOWED INSIDE A VEHICLE WHEN WHEELCHAIRS ARE SECURED IN THE VEHICLE? Yes 43% (6) No 57% (8) n = 14. Bicycle Fees and Permit None of the agencies surveyed charges a fare to bring a bicy- cle on a transit vehicle. Similarly, 15 of 16 agencies that allow bicycles do not require inspection or approval. One small agency, LeeTran, requires approval "for folding bikes when they are being placed inside the bus." LeeTran also issues a bicycle permit. According to staff, the permit is a sticker that is placed on approved bikes so bus operators know the bike can be transported. No fee is charged for the bicycle permit. Driver Assistance FIGURE 33 Passenger prepares to load a second bicycle Not one agency reported that its bicycle accommodation pol- on an exterior bus rack in Honolulu (courtesy : J. Goldman, icies required bus drivers to provide assistance (Figure 32). Nelson\Nygaard). Indeed, half of respondents to this question indicated that the policy explicitly instructs drivers not to provide assistance. Bicycles Aboard Paratransit Four agencies do not have a policy in place regarding the driver assistance in bicycle accommodation. Three agencies Agencies that operate paratransit services, in addition to reg- noted that their policy holds that drivers may provide assis- ular bus or rail services, generally have policies in place that tance, if requested (see Figure 33). prohibit bicycles from being brought on paratransit vehicles. It is presumed that bicycles are not considered mobility aids Among these last three agencies, drivers are allowed to by most paratransit providers--and likely few paratransit rid- provide a few types of assistance. All of the agencies allow ers use them. Of 24 agencies that have policies about bringing drivers to wait in their seat while the bicycle is secured on the large items on board paratransit buses, 16 (67%) expressly exterior or interior, providing verbal instruction to the passen- prohibit bicycles aboard vehicles, about the same proportion ger. Two agencies allow drivers to disembark from the vehicle of agencies that do not allow bicycles aboard regular fixed and provide physical assistance with exterior bike rack opera- route buses. For more information about agency policies gov- tion. Only one agency allows drivers, if requested, to get out erning bringing items other than wheelchairs and mobility of their seat and assist with bicycle storage on board the bus. devices aboard paratransit vehicles, see chapter seven.

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45 Bicycles Aboard Rail STM, Montreal: Bicycle areas are designated during specific hours. Of the 42 surveyed agencies, 16 offer rail service and 14 UTA, Salt Lake City: Two bicycles may be inside the operate rail in addition to buses. Given the many distinctions rail vehicle in the front and two bicycles in the rear. between the two operations, a summary of respondent agen- The bicycle passenger must remain standing with the cies' bicycle policies on rail service alone follows. In some bicycle and hold it upright for the safety of the other cases, an agency operates multiple forms of rail service; the passengers. accommodation of bicycles solely among these vehicles can vary greatly. Rail-Only Agencies Two surveyed agencies provide rail service only. Since its opening in 2004, the Las Vegas Monorail has allowed bicy- cles to be brought on its vehicles at any time. Several of the hotels and destinations it serves have bicycle racks. BART features bike racks at some of its station locations. The agency notes that it has an "extremely large bicycle parking program" with "facilities at almost every station." Systemwide, it "can currently park more than 4,000 bikes in racks, lockers, or attended facilities." BART's current policy for bringing bikes on rail vehicles was established in 1998. The original policy was established in 1974, but it "initially" FIGURE 34 Folding bike and a stroller share the space in the required "people...to get permits to bring bikes on board and doorway on a rail car in Chicago (courtesy : CTA). bikes were only allowed off peak and in one car/train." The current policy "allows bikes in all but [the] first car and [has] Bicycle Policy Effectiveness fewer time restrictions." More information about BART's bicycle policies is included at the end of this chapter. A minority of agencies (9 of 40, or 23%) indicated that they had considered a bicycle policy but not implemented it, or Rail/Bus Agencies that they had considered revisions to their bicycle policy (Table 26). One large agency considered "total prohibition Fourteen agencies offer both bus and rail services, and five during peak hours" but rejected the idea because "a more of these noted that their rail bicycle policy differed from finely graded system of permitted times/trains allows for use their bus bicycle policy. TriMet has a comprehensive light of off-peak directional capacity." By contrast, another large rail bicycle policy that outlines bike accommodation differ- agency sought to "allow bicycles on rail during peak peri- ences between low-floor and high-floor light rail vehicles. ods," but the policy was "not implemented due to existing MARTA's rail vehicles have "no restrictions or limitations," and growing congestion." One large agency admitted that and Capital Metro's rail policy is that "bikes occupy the same "Bicycle advocates would prefer more bicycles on board, space as wheelchairs and can remain in the aisles." especially on streetcars and LRVs." In response to a question asking for the official policy TABLE 26 for accommodating bicycles on rail service, seven of the HAVE ANY REQUIREMENTS/RESTRICTIONS/ 14 agencies offered a variety of regulations (and one, OC RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING BICYCLES BEEN Transpo, replied that it had no such policy). WMATA posted CONSIDERED BY THE AGENCY, BUT NOT IMPLEMENTED? its official Metrorail bicycle policy (Appendix C); other Yes 23% (9) responses follow: No 77% (31) n = 40. CTA, Chicago: Bicycles may be brought on board a rail car during non-rush/off-peak hours only (see Figure 34). A handful of small agencies explored changing regula- MiamiDade: Bicycles must use the last car. tions regarding their bus bike racks. One "considered put- NJ Transit: Bike are allowed off-peak only in the ves- ting bike racks on new bus purchases, however, the number tibule areas when trains are not crowded. of riders who bring bikes on board over a year's period is NCTD, San Diego County: Four bicycles are allowed insignificant--maybe 810 times." Another agency is "wait- per car. ing for grant funding to be available" to install bike racks,