No bikes on the “T”?

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Willie
Participant
#

Well I just rode home from work and when I was getting on the T at station square the driver tried to tell me i couldent take my bike on. I informed him I was only going one stop (south hills juntion), and got on. I asked him why he was giving me a hard time for bringing mt bike on when there was a woman blocking the whole walkway thru the train with a huge baby stroller. He didnt answer me then told me im lucky he let me on. Ive ridden with this guy many time so I asked him what his problem was all of a sudden. He told me people that bring bikes on the trains make trouble. I told him he knows that that is bull and he has seen me many many times and ive always thanked him and have never caused trouble. Well he told me it dosent matter anyway because within 6 months the PAT system is not gonna allow bikes on the T anymore. Can anyone tell me if that is true or did this guy just have a stick up his ass?


mark
Participant
#

stick up his ass… guaranteed… we’ll see what the overlords say though… did you get his name?


Willie
Participant
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No unfortunately I didnt . I did get his number (6988) after he told me to “shut up” more than once when I questioned him.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Use this link:

http://www.portauthority.org/PAAC/CompanyInfo/ContactInformation/Complaints/tabid/168/Default.aspx

There may be a restriction during weekday rush hour and during big events (e.g. July 4 fireworks), but on a Saturday? Naaah.


Willie
Participant
#

I will file a complaint just on the drivers rudeness to me alone. To be honest tho I have filed 3 complaints before and have never heard a word back from PAT. I have read and re-read all the rules for bikes on trains, busses and the incline. The only one that has rush hour regulations is the “T”. The other thing is that letting a bike on the train is a judgment of the driver. If he feels there is too many people on it or just makes up a reason then he can tell you to take your bike off the train. I have been told I couldnt get on to a half full train id say at least a dozen times in the past year. I think it just got to the point where the drivers started to know me and the friendly ones never gave me a problem but the jerks that I would see on a regular basis always did. I could go on for hours about how I seen myself and other bikers getting treated unfairly and like a hooligan just for riding a bike and wanting to take the “T” with it but a woman could get on with a stroller the size of a small car and noone says a word to her even tho it says in the rules strollers must be folded.


rsprake
Participant
#

Well, if that is the case the best thing you can do is continue to file complaints about the operators that continue to be a dick.


erok
Keymaster
#

yeah, thanks for being so vigilant with it.


mark
Participant
#

since bike on T experts are residing here… is the onpeak/offpeak restriction inbound/outbound dependant… what i’m asking is can i leave the city during morning rush hour with a bike, or come back during evening with one?


Willie
Participant
#

You can if you own a folding bike. Besides that you cant. I used to live in mt lebanon and would take a train at excatly 5 after nine in the morning inbound. id say 90% of the time it was no problem and sometimes they would say no and id half to wait for the next one even tho it was 5 mins after rush hour ended. Another example of the driver making the decision. Some of them like the little bit of power way too much


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Take names/numbers and kick ass.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

Too many adages spoils the thread.

Seriously, though, this gives me three specific things to bring up at the next ACTC meeting:

1) Are bikes to be banned from the T in a couple of months?

2) Outbound-a.m., inbound-p.m., and eve/wknd T usage should be unrestricted and if a driver has a problem with it he’d better have a darn good reason why.

3) Why is it that filing complaints seems to be like sending more matter into a black hole? (I’ve filed three complaints in the last 30 days and haven’t heard a word back, except for the auto-acknowledgment email.)

Don’t stop filing them. I’m pretty sure someone is actually reading them, but they kinda suck at the follow-through.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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The injunction is in the direction of rush hour traffic. So you can’t head into the city in the morning or out of the city in the afternoon via the T with a bike.


scott
Keymaster
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I just passed this on to all my contacts at the Port Authority. I’ll report back soon.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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As did I. I next meet with her on Sept. 2.


ccrider
Participant
#

in terms of t restrictions, as stated on the web page and on the train schedules: no bikes from 6a-9a or 4p-6.30pm monday to friday. there are no time restrictions on the weekends. handicap and elderly folks take priority so you can be asked to get off or not allowed on at the drivers discretion. there’s technically a restriction of 2 bikes per train, or 1 bike and 1 wheel chair. Also, you can only access the T from a “high” platform, which are specially designated on the maps. These are the platforms where the big side doors open up. station sq & all the stops downtown are high platforms. not all of the stops on the south hill lines are though so you’ll wanna check before you travel.

i’ve started a hybrid commute from the east end to south park that involves taking the T back into downtown on my way home. i’ve done it about 3-4 times in the last 2 weeks and i was denied access to the train one time because there were two cyclists trying to get on as well as someone in a wheel chair. apparently there is a 2 bike or 2 wheel chair restriction per train thats not listed on the website or on the schedules (I called customer service from the platform & they confirmed that the driver was correct). He did offer to let one of us on, but we were traveling together so we opted to wait for the next train and I had already gotten a lil’ bit testy with him so waiting was best. when the next train did arrive the handicapped area was full of able-bodied teens leaving no room for our bikes, but the T driver was cool and let us walk our bikes to the back of the train, where there is another identical set of handicapped seats leaving plenty of room since all riders enter and exit from the front of the train. This second train begged the question as to why didn’t the first driver let us on in the back & why can’t this be a standard practice?

The situation was very frustrating, but i think in the future if i encoutner a T driver who won’t let me one I’ll ask (nicely) about riding in the back. Most of my commute times occur with trains coming every 20 or so minutes so waiting for the next train isn’t the end of the world and it gives me time to read my news paper.

I think if you’re going to do a hybrid commute you just have to get used to the fact that occassionally you won’t be allowed on the train or bus for one reason or the other.

I’ve contemplated using one of the many south hills bus lines for my hybrid commute but bike racks seems to only be on about 75% of the buses and there’s no rhyme or reason to them on the routes in teh south hills. Also, I’d rather wait on a T platform for a train than on the side of route 51 in the heat, sucking up motor exhaust.


Willie
Participant
#

99% of the time when I would take my bike on the train I would go right to the back out of the way. Not to mention I feel like a jerk taking up 3 seats by going in the wheelchair area.


scott
Keymaster
#

ccrider, BikePGH, the City of Pgh and Port Authority are all partnering to apply for funds to get racks for the rest of the fleet. We’re hoping to have the system completed in a year.

As for the T, I’m corresponding with the woman who is charge of the T service and she seems interested in improving their service with regard to bikes on board.


Willie
Participant
#

Please do scott. I only have to take the T about 3 or 4 times a month now, but if it helps someone not go thru the hell I did on almost a daily basis when i lived in mt lebanon and rode the T atleast 6 days a week, then id like to help in anyway I can.


scott
Keymaster
#

Ok, just heard back:

“Hi Scott,

The revised procedure and policy is making its way through the sign-off process. The revision makes the procedure and policy identical to the procedure outlined in the “We like bikes” brochure.”

Here’s what their “We like bikes” brochure says:

T routes (42C, 42S, 47L, and 47S). Off-peak periods, seven days a week. Prohibited weekdays from 6-9 am and 4-6:30 pm. Two bikes permitted per LRV in designated areas. Folding bicycles permitted during both peak and non-peak hours.

Nothing is stated about high and low platforms.

To download a copy yourself: http://www.portauthority.org/PAAC/Portals/0/Advertising/BikesBrochure.pdf


Steven
Participant
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The “We like bikes” brochure mentions the high-platforms-only rule, on page 2 of the PDF, first column, in the paragraph that starts “Rails to Trails”. It also appears on the Rack and Roll web page in bold italic.

I’d like to see the Port Authority change its rule and make the restriction on the T rush-direction-only, so you can take a bike outbound in the morning or inbound in the evening, whenever there’s room enough. Sometimes the T operators permit this anyway, but it would be better if it were an official rule.

Also, it would be good if the Port Authority revised its brochure and other materials to explicitly allow cyclists to use the rack on any bus with a rack, not just those on the 12 designated bike routes. The drivers mostly seem to follow this rule already, but the brochure and other communications often suggest bikes are permitted on those 12 routes only, with phrases like using “designated Port Authority buses” or “The racks on these 12 routes are available for use seven days a week” (suggesting that other racks aren’t).

And the rule about only using high-platform T stops should be rewritten to indicate it doesn’t apply to folding bikes.

I’ve only ever had one problem with a driver not letting me take my bike on the T. It was just after 6:30pm, a year or two ago, outbound at Steel Plaza Station. I reported it on PAT’s web site, and got a phone call a few weeks later from a customer service woman at PAT, saying the driver’s supervisor had spoken to the driver, and he was now aware of the rule permitting bikes after 6:30pm. No problems since on that same trip.


Mick
Participant
#

Here’s what their “We like bikes” brochure says:

Jeez.

How would they act if they DIDN’T like us?

Mick


ccrider
Participant
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I’m happy to hear that Bike PGH, the City (our wonderful bike/ped coord), and PAT are working on making the buses and T as bike friendly as possible! Kudos to all parties involved!

Allowing bikes to ride on the T opposite the flow of traffic during weekdays is an awesome idea & would work well with my commute since I go against the flow of rush hour traffic. Right now I do a straight ride from the east end to south park in the morning and utilize the T to downtown on my way home after 6.30 pm (I had to adjust my schedule to meet the 6.30 pm T restriction). After many weeks of planning my route, exploring options with the bus, & testing rides, this seemed to be the most reliable and efficient way for my particular circumstances. My work schedule, etc. only permits me to do this bike commute 1-3 times a week. Allowing for bikes opposite rush hour traffic on the T would let me hybrid commute every day of the week. It will also keep me riding well into the cold winter months. Having reliable racks on the suburban bus routes would also make me reconsider this as an option & would give me (literally) dozens of options for traveling between the east end and south park.

I’ll be doing a hybrid commute on the T tonight to get back to downtown from southpark. I’ll daydream fondly about some of the new changes that will coming our way soon!


erok
Keymaster
#

it would be good if the Port Authority revised its brochure and other materials to explicitly allow cyclists to use the rack on any bus with a rack, not just those on the 12 designated bike routes.

i had a driver refuse to let me on a bus (with a rack), when i flatted out – with no repair stuff at midnight – because the bus wasn’t supposed to have one


Willie
Participant
#

How can we fight to be able to bring more than 2 bikes on the T at once? I have gotten on the T one time with 3 bikes and nothing was said. But there was a time on a sunday when my girlfriend and I tried to take the train from mt lebanon to station square. When the train pulled up it was mostly empty except for one bike in the back. Well the driver said only one of us could get on, we decided to wait for the next train instead of splitting up but since it was a sunday it was about a 45 minute wait. Then what if that next rain got there and there was bikes on it already? What if I was on my way to work? How can people rely on this system in their daily lives if when every time you go to take the train somewhere you are not sure if you can get on or might get turned away.

Now I know people are gonna say just wait for the next one. I can tell you from my own commute to work that it dosent always work. I lived in mt lebanon and worked in the strip. I had to be in for ten am. The first train I could take was the 905, first one after rush hour ends. Now if I got on that one I would get off in steel plaza at about 20 mins to ten then ride up to 21st street in the strip with time to spare. But there was a few times that the driver wouldent let me on the 905 because he said it was rush hour still, so I would have to wait for the 920 train and would end up being late for work.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

This is why ACTC needs more than just one regular cyclist on its roster. ACTC’s purpose is to provide Port Authority with the “man in the seat” view. Scott does wonders from the top down, but they need to hear from regular riders, and this is how that’s done, formally.

I live north and ride almost exclusively Ross Division buses. Willie lives south and would use the T if he could, an entirely different perspective. We could use a couple beyond that, too, from different parts of town.

Anyone who rides the system is welcome. Being a cyclist would help cyclists who ride the system.


erok
Keymaster
#

how does one join actc?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

There’s a paper form, available at the Service Center on Smithfield. Fill out, mail in. Goes to Port Authority, but handled by ACTC (Allegheny County Transit Council). Someone will get back to you with details. Expect to attend various meetings.


Swalfoort
Participant
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This is the response that I got back from the Port Authority:

Meanwhile, Port Authority’s policy is that all buses equipped with racks can have bikes placed on them, regardless if the route is designated as a Rack n Roll route.


Willie
Participant
#

I guess some if the drivers didnt get that memo

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