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Thread: Petition to WMATA to change their policy regarding bikes during rush hour

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwon234ioud View Post
    I had no idea this was the rule and had to wait 3 hours before being allowed to pass the gate. ]
    Just curious, but where was it that you were coming from that you couldn't just ride home in the three hours that you were waiting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    Just curious, but where was it that you were coming from that you couldn't just ride home in the three hours that you were waiting?
    I'd like to know that too. I can't imagine that any Metro trip could take you somewhere that a 3-hour bike ride couldn't. It might not be fun if you hadn't planned for it, but it can be done.

    I also agree with Metro's policy. Bikes would completely mess up getting on and off crowded trains. It just can't work.

    That said, I remember riding downtown on a weekend and then getting a really bad headache, so I decided to hop on Metro to get home. I had forgotten there was some event downtown though, so it was closed to bikes all day. Riding with a headache sucks.

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    Even the front car is a problem. Yes, some lines have more room in the front car, but you still need to get there across a platform that a packed. And the car isn't always empty. Between the platform and the inconsistency of the car, I don't think that is a practical solution. Counter-flow is a descent compromise, but there is no way to force that once you enter the fare-gates.


    Quote Originally Posted by kwon234ioud View Post
    I was really angry because not only did I had to waste three hours waiting for rush hour to pass, but the rule was inconsistently reinforced based on different stations.
    Maybe you should have done a few minutes of planning. It's not the station manager's fault that you didn't bother to plan your trip.

  4. #14
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    There's no way to allow bikes on Metro at rush hour and not foul up the entire system. In some of the downtown stations, there simply wouldn't even be enough room to walk the bikes along the platforms to the cars. At some transfer stations, you would place pedestrians in danger of falling off the platform because it's so narrow. This would be a really bad idea.

  5. #15
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    Reverse commutes are the only instance where bikes might fit on metro, but how can you really enforce that? It's tough enough for people to have regular luggage (e.g. they're coming from Reagan) during peak times, let alone a full-size bike.

    I rode metro for around 2 years on the Orange Line for work. When I first started cycling in, I would sometimes take my bike on metro for part of the the trip home and leave work early to enough to arrive by the deadline. In fact, one time a metro employee at Farragut West asked me where I was going so they could be sure I was off the system by then.

    If you really want to ride a bike and metro just get a folding bike, as suggested. Some of them are designed well enough to go as fast as a full-size bike.

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    There are two bike experiences on Metro. One, early on Sunday mornings with a light, easy to manage road bike. Simple. Click image for larger version. 

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    Then there's Saturday afternoons. Downtown. At the Smithsonian Station. Click image for larger version. 

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    With an enormous bike. Never again.

  7. #17
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    I'm going to continue to be contrarian here. I think Metro should experiment with this, and I signed the petition. There is plenty of unused space even in rush hour on trains outside the downtown core. It could be extremely useful for suburban commuters to be able to go bike--train--bike to get from suburb to suburb. Suburban bus service is slow and infrequent. Changing Metro's policy could take lots of cars off the road. If they want to forbid bikes in certain stations in rush hour, fine. I'd be fine if they forbid bikes in the whole downtown core and/or on inbound heavy load routes.

    But there's no reason not to allow someone from Columbia Heights to take their bike to College Park for class or Greenbelt for work during rush hour. There's plenty of room on every outbound train in the morning and inbound in the evening. Let's experiment with this next fall and winter, outside of tourist season, and see how it works!

  8. #18
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    I think the problem (besides metro's unwillingness to even talk about this) is that it would become too piecemeal and specific to the station and direction of travel. There are too many variables to account for to keep it contained in a concise policy. I don't disagree that there are times on outbound trains that there might be room for a bike, but I don't really think that the policy will change, or that the need is really that great. Particularly when Metro can point to Metrobus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbelt View Post
    I think Metro should allow bikes on trains during rush hour only in the first (front) car and only at the operator's discretion. That is, when he or she opens the little window, you ask if you can board with your bike. Most of the time the front car is less crowded, especially on suburban or off-direction runs, and this would allow many cyclists to use Metro as needed. The cyclist would take the risk if trains were too crowded and boarding was denied by the operator -- you'd just have to wait for an uncrowded train.
    That wouldn't solve the problem of hoards of tourists with bikes on overcrowded platforms. Trying to have different policies for different places is unmanageable--there's no way they could control whether people got off at the approved stations. Heck, they can't even enforce the system-wide "no food" policy anymore.
    Last edited by mstone; 03-16-2012 at 04:33 PM.

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    I agree. Selective stations and routes would be impossible to control or enforce.

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