I like that old time rack and roll
(Or maybe it is new time.) It’s really nice not having to argue with bus drivers anymore, or being always braced for an argument … now either there’s always a rack or with that lone ketchup bus that’s heading for the glue factory they don’t bat an eye if I fold the bike and bring it on.
I am getting more rain exposure than last year of course though (figure an hour any rainy weekday)… any advice on what to lube the chain with for great justice?
i just use pedro’s year round. if it gets a bunch of rain, i’ll try to wipe off some of the water. usually tho, it’s pretty good.
If you BikePGH dewds are on good terms with PAT, then perhaps inquire about the Bridgeville route. When I work out that way I see the occasional rack ‘n roller waiting for the inbound bus in the morning, and with the PennDOT work on I-79 slowing down drivers perhaps a few more folks may wish to try the bike/bus/bike route?
We’re trying to work with them on that exact issue/opportunity right now. Not just at Bridgeville, but that’s one of the target areas.
I didn’t really live far enough away from anything to rack and roll when I was in Pittsburgh, but in my new city I rack and roll on a daily basis. They don’t have many racked busses here, but the route I need has one (and every bus on that route always has one – the yard that serves that route is 100% CNG+bike rack busses).
For the first week I took the 9am bus, and the driver is this grumpy lady that gave me the stink eye every time I loaded/unloaded my bike. One day I was late and had to take the 9:45am bus, and it turns out the driver is a cyclist and marathon runner, so now I sleep an extra 45 minutes and I spend my morning bus ride into work talking about bikes. I’m sure the other passengers are rolling their eyes.
I probably never would have thought about rack and rolling if it wasn’t for all the promotion and advocacy of bike-pgh. Since I started doing it, everyone asks me all sorts of questions about it. The most common ones are “do you have to pay an extra fare for that?” or “do you need to reserve the rack?” I don’t know if people have the same preconceived notions in Pgh, but it would have never dawned on me it costs extra to bring a bike. Maybe something to promote in future advertisements. “Bikes ride free!” or something?
dwillen, where are you living now?
I know that I was nervous about trying the racks because I didn’t know how they worked. I am sure other folks have reservations about trying it out because they think they have to pay extra or any number of things. A “bikes ride free” ad inside or outside of the bus would go a long way to fixing that I think.
I live a couple miles outside Boston (MA). I really miss Pittsburgh!
Most of the busses here lack racks, and I don’t see them getting racks, well, ever. The line outside my house is one of those electric busses on trolly wires. It runs every 5-10 minutes and covers a ~4 mile long route. Not really much need for a bike rack on there. By the time you waited for the bus, loaded up, unloaded, it would be just as fast to bike.
The bus driver I talk to now says he gets maybe one person a week using the rack (which were installed ~9 mo ago). I feel better I upped the usage to at least once a day.
So far I’ve rack and rolled into work everyday, then pedaled the 9ish miles home. Most of the streets I take are suburban type 25 mph roads and most have some sort of narrow shoulder. I have a one block long bike lane on one of them, which I don’t really understand why it exists, but whatever! Lots of speed traps and school zones on the roads, so cars mostly drive the speed limit. I haven’t had anyone cuss me out or try to kill me yet, so cycling here has so far been a positive experience. It takes me about 10 minutes longer to bike home than it did to drive on the best day. On the worst day, I filter through the gridlock and beat most of the cars.
There are worse place to be! I’ve just started following this blog written by a cyclist in Boston.
Sounds like Pgh in about 2004. Enough racks to make the idea tempting, but not enough to make it desirable, let alone reliable. As we were until last month.
Where is the advocacy? It’s somewhat a chicken-and-egg thing, but talk it up to everyone at every opportunity, especially the string pullers, the deep pockets, the (potential) politicians, the political staffers and wonks. Say it enough times in enough ears enough ways, and eventually something will stick. I can’t claim too much credit here, but showing up at a bunch of ACTC meetings and community meetings and project planning meetings with a helmet in hand likely reinforced what they were hearing from someone else someplace else.
It seems to be reliable. The route I take is only serviced by one yard, and that entire yard is rack equipped. I haven’t had a non-rack, or broken-rack bus so far. I also have the same driver every single day, so I expect if the rack was busted, he wouldn’t mind me tossing it in the bus. He said he hasn’t seen a broken one yet (they’ve only been on there since the spring), but he expects if a rack were damaged, it wouldn’t be a high priority to fix.
I love that the Busway buses have racks now! Tuesday I had about half an hour to get from downtown to highland park. I was able to do it by rack’n’rolling from the Steel Tower to the East Liberty busway stop and biking the rest of the way. Awesome!
ive wished for bike lines on the busway for a long time… i guess thats the next best thing!
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