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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bicycling on transit in Sacramento

Image of a bicycle on a light rail train in SacramentoOn Monday, a friend and I boarded our bikes on Sacramento Regional Transit and traveled to Folsom, to enjoy a scenic return ride to Sacramento on the famed 32-mile-long American River Bike Path.

Intermodal travel
--combining bicycling and transit--greatly facilitates bike commuting. Especially for those making daily trips longer than 3-5 miles each way. Many transit agencies across the U.S. have recognized the potential revenue growth to be gained from attracting bicyclists, and have installed bike racks on buses and built parking lockers near transit hubs.

San Francisco's MUNI, for instance, has made great strides in recent years toward a more bicycle-friendly system. Nearly every bus in the city's fleet now has a bike rack. However, MUNI continues to discourage bicycles on its light rail trains. Sacramento has this ingenious system on its trolley service, mounting bikes vertically to save space. A lesson for San Francisco?

Image: Paul Dorn.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Anonymous said...

Why isn't anyone else on the train? Most urban transit is _crowded._ Could it be because Sacramento's RT is kind of dodgy? That's been my experience. For a woman riding alone at the wrong time, it can be more than a little weird -- if not downright creepy.

Steven Vance said...

Other light rail systems have this bike storage setup.

I know the Hiawatha line in MPLS has it. I think Denver and San Diego have it as well.

For Metra, commuter rail in Chicago, 2 bikes are able to be stood normally next to a row of flip up seats. Metra riders should bring bungee cords to attach their bikes to the flipped up seats, lest they want to stand next to the bikes to hold them when the train turns and brakes.

Yokota Fritz said...

Santa Clara/VTA light rail also has a similar setup. It's efficient use of space, but many people don't like having to lift the bike up onto the hook.

Noah said...

If and when KC ever gets their light rail system established, I hope they have racks like this, too! All major transit buses out here have a two-bike rack on the front. I use the transit system to make my 60-mile round-trip commute feasible without using my car at all. Without these provisions in place, my bike commute would be ominous enough to prevent me from doing it daily.

Anonymous said...

Been a while since I rode Sacramento light rail, but during peak commute times, the trains were very busy.

NNN said...

Lived in West Sac for several years and never took RT, but was a regular Yolobus user. One of my biggest pet peeves was that intermodal travel using the bus was always a gamble, because you never knew if both spaces on the bus's bike rack would be full until the bus got there, and if so oftentimes there'd be nowhere convenient and safe to lock up your bike. Grrr!