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Bike / bus multi-modal travel challenges

I love that the bus has bike racks on the front, but a multi-modal trip presents certain challenges.

Photo of Laura Muresan
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Often when I take the bus, I use the bike rack on the front, but sometimes the rack is full (especially when I'm travelling with someone else and we need more than one slot). This means I need to plan ahead for the eventuality it will be full, by leaving earlier, being prepared to bike the entire trip, or being prepared to get on the bus without my bike. Sometimes when I am riding the bus and have my bike on the front, I'll see other people with bikes wanting to get on but not being able to because the racks are full. When that happens, I get off earlier if I'm pretty close to where I want to go so the other person can use the rack. It would be nice if the app that shows the ETA of the bus could also indicate if the bike racks are in use. Another issue I have with the bike racks is that I can't fit the tandem bike on the front. I have a son with autism; if we are travelling in a high traffic area, I'd rather have him on the back of the tandem bike with me rather than on his own separate bike, but when using the bus bike rack, we need to take separate bikes. Yesterday when we took our bikes on the bus, I got to my destination to find I had bike chain grease and a tire track on my pants, from when I loaded the bike onto the rack. Loading the bike is a minor struggle for me, and I think for some people it would be very difficult to do. That said, I am very glad there are bike racks; it's a feature I appreciate and use frequently.

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Photo of Idrees Mutahr

I am a bicycle/bus commuter myself and I find myself thinking about these things often, when it works it works great, but the bicycle/bus trip does have it's limitations - especially if cycling were to become more common. I love the idea of integrating technology, great observations Laura.

Photo of Laura Muresan

Thanks, Idrees! It wasn't too long ago the buses didn't have the racks at all. They've been phasing in triple racks for the past several years, so most buses hold three bikes now. I've really appreciated the incremental improvements.