A Future of Bikes on Muni?
Photo by neal..patel
Streetsblog SF reports that this week will see a BART task force and the SFMTA board talking about bikes on trains.
The BART task force met yesterday to discuss lifting the ban on bicycles on BART trains during rush hour. The SFMTA board meets at 1 p.m. today to talk about, among other topics, possibly “allowing bike access on board light rail vehicles,” according to Streetsblog SF.
Check out the Streetsblog post for more information.
We wanna know what you think about these ideas: Is more bikes on public transit a good idea?
It seems a waste to not allow bikes on Muni, but MAN have I encountered a lot of cyclists that don’t make it work. Taking up two seats, yelling at people that touch their bikes, etc.
This may be true, but there are a lot of Muni riders who do the same things: taking up two seats, yelling at people who touch their stuff/get too close/whatever.
I find the Caltrain “bike car” concept works really really well. Perhaps this is an idea that BART could emulate.
If you started out on your bike, you go all the way on the bike. Actually, no, that would be cruel. Sorry, folks. There is no easy solution to the question of bikes on public transit. The only thing I can think of is to dedicate the last car on each existing train for cyclists and their bikes. That would mean taking out several rows of seats so bikes can fit. The drawbacks of that are: 1. It’s a lot of work; and 2. you lose seats, so you lose potential passenger revenue…unless you have cyclists pay extra for their bikes, which would cause revolt.
I think it could work if they get their own car, or if they do like the wheelchair users: ONLY use the “bike area” of each train car (and people would get out of the way so they could do that). Many BART cars have a designated area but bike users don’t use them.
Muni LRVs simply don’t have space for bikes.
I have to say the “bike car” concept sounds like the only workable solution, too much angst and stress otherwise.
It’s going to be expensive just to outfit one car just for bikes, unless you have a policy of setting aside the second car in a train for bikes only (but then non-bike users might complain about there being not enough seats for everyone).
Well, I don’t know which route you’re riding (maybe the N-Judah is different?), but during non-peak hours, especially in the outer ends of the system, the LRVs are practically empty, or at least have plenty of standing room. So sure, while it’s at capacity, an LRV doesn’t have space for bikes; but it doesn’t have space for passengers either at those times.
On BART, bicyclists use the open space set aside for wheelchair users. That open space is also right next to a door so it’s easy to get bikes in and out. Additionally, BART is always level-boarding (no steps).
The only place bikes could go on an LRV would be in the rear of the car in the wheelchair spaces where the first 3 seats fold up on each side. (The same space on the front of the car would have to be reserved for elderly and wheelchair users.)
What does a bicyclist do if there are people sitting in those seats (regardless of whether the car is relatively empty)? Sure, he could ask them to move, but there’d be no forcing them to. Then what? The bicycle would be very much in the way.
Another problem is that the closest door on the curb side is a single (narrow) door, so it wouldn’t be easy to maneuver a bike in or out. Additionally, unlike BART, most above-ground LRV boarding is done from street level using steps thus making it even harder to get bikes in or out.
The LRVs simply weren’t designed with bikes in mind.
Excellent points to consider!