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Thread: Bikes on the Metro During Rush Hour - WABA Petition

  1. #11
    baiskeli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    Really? I'd say it seems you live in metro fantasy land. I actually have to take the train a stop or two in the OPPOSITE direction in order to get back on a different train heading in my direction. And that's at 4:30pm before the real rush hour crush.

    We can't even get cyclists to call their passes; there's no way they're not going to board crowded trains. And what if the train fills up after they've boarded?

    I'll say it again, it's a TERRIBLE idea. Metro is bad (crowded) enough as it is. Ridership may be down but safety issues or crowded tracks (OSB for example) mean the trains aren't running as frequently.
    I share your skepticism. And a rule only allowing bikes when there is room for them doesn't work if the bike is on the train first, before the crush of people.

    I'd like to see them figure out how to do this but I don't think just ending the time restrictions alone will work.

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  3. #12
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    Tania speaks my mind. WMATA during rush hour is dangerously crowded. I regularly dont board trains bc they are sardine cans - dont wanna get stuck in a train like that under the river for an hour. And as for people behaving, havent we beaten this topic to death. People dont behave; their is no enforcement; the only thing that works is infrastructure design. This monday I was down at TR and watch a tourist drive down the MVT to Trollheim

    But then I thought this was the whole point. Reason #52 why I love my commute: bc WMATA is the 8th ring of Hell

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    I'd like to see them figure out how to do this but I don't think just ending the time restrictions alone will work.
    Ditto. The real problem is their inadequate service levels. Metro needs to run 8-car trains at more frequent intervals, especially on overcrowded routes. Then they could let bikes on at any time of day. The scene Tania describes is all too common, totally unacceptable, and why I didn't want to live on the Orange line.

    It wouldn't phase me to restrict bikes to the end cars only, so we can get on/off away from the crush of people (and appease some of the haters, cuz you know there will be haters).

    All that said, I signed the petition because it opens the conversation I'd like to applaud them for even considering the idea.

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    I live in Arlington and frequently have to head out to Merrifield, Vienna or Reston during morning rush hour. I get on at a station where there are different platforms for inbound and outbound trains (Clarendon or Ballston, for example). The platforms are never crowded and the trains typically have between 10 and 20 people per car, if that many. There's no reason I shouldn't be able to take a bike on one of those trains. Now, I typically go with my stealth bicycle (a folding bicycle) and fold it up if requested. But, clearly, not everyone has a stealth bicycle. Coming back to Arlington from Vienna or Merrifield, if it's before 9:30, the train may START to get crowded, but it's typically not standing-room-only when I get off in Ballston.

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    Having now lived on the West coast (Seattle) for a year and using a transit system that is in the process of expansion (from 1 line to 3 lines and eventually more) yet seems not to struggle with bicycles on trains, I can say this: Metro needs to be running 8-car trains with more frequent service during rush hour in order to be able to make this work. Also, they need to have designated sections of each train car on which one could board with their bicycle so that everyone would be able to know where to expect them.

    I've seen folks bring their bicycles on the light rail during rush hour, and it seems to work fine because the trains only occasionally become packed like sardine cans due to the frequency of service. We have 2 or 3 car light rail trains running at the moment, but the system will expand to 4 car trains in coming years.

    Here's info from Seattle's transit system on bringing bicycles on board:


    In short, it is possible for Metro to do this, but they have a lot of baggage to figure out first to be able to actually make it work.

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  11. #16
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    I saw a data analysis a while ago that indicated the crowded conditions were limited to less than half the lines for less than half of the rush hour ban. Look at the data and figure out a policy that makes sense for the whole system, not just based on one person's commute.

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  13. #17
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    1. I am not absolutely convinced DC area people are necessarily less able to follow rules on this than Californians, but I don't want to rehash that argument (I will note that while I do kvetch about people who pass without calling, I do notice lots of people who DO call their passes) though I am not sure that a short term pilot would be so bad.

    2. The increase in the number of people riding with bikes would be offset at least a little because biking itself would be easier. To explain - there are days where uncertainty about the weather or about my evening schedule leads me to NOT ride in in the morning. If I knew I could get my bike home by transit (100%, train as well as bus) I would likely ride my bike in on those days, and since sometimes the weather proves rideable (for me) or my schedule works out, that would also mean riding my bike home. Thats for me a relatively experienced rider who will ride in a fair variety of conditions. For newbie commuters this would be more important.

    3. I think allowing bikes makes the most sense for times and places where metro is predictably not crowded. This means (generally) reverse direction commutes, and Fridays. Now its probably not possible for metro to enforce a rule about direction of commute. I don't see why it would not be possible, and make sense, to allow bikes on metro at all hours on Fridays though. Heck could they just try it one day a year - Bike to Work Day? When some newbies worry about being able to ride home?
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 09-20-2018 at 12:03 PM.

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    I was looking at the BART site, and it appears that even they say that bikes are not allowed on crowded train cars.

    "Regardless of any other rule, bikes are never allowed on crowded cars. Use your good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle."

    Good judgment, ha. Getting any three cyclists to agree on one thing would be like herding especially truculent cats.

    One important difference was that the BART cars I was on had special places to stow bicycles, which our cars do not have. (Seems to contradict their "Bicyclists must hold their bikes while on the trains" rule.) Providing special stowage places on Metro cars would cost $.

    Seriously, I think this is a nice but impractical idea for this area. The public's limited tolerance for cyclist rights would be better taxed in trying to reduce us getting run over by cars.

    https://www.bart.gov/guide/bikes/bikeRules

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    baiskeli's Avatar
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    I found data on "loading" expressed as a percentage of optimal occupancy, where 100 means full and over 100 means overloaded. See page 5 after the slides. Doesn't seem to be restricted to rush hour though.

    https://www.wmata.com/about/records/...nce_Report.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    One important difference was that the BART cars I was on had special places to stow bicycles, ...
    Indeed! We rode the BART as pedestrians last month, mostly during rush hours, and saw more bicycles than we see on Metro at any time. The bicycle space was always observed and people moved out of the way for cyclists. There were no confrontations.
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