"You'll have to put that folding bike on the (nonexistent) rack"

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sprite
Participant
#

This P1 driver seemed like a nice guy (compared to other drivers who confronted me in the distant past) and, though I took down the bus#, I don’t want to get him in trouble for trying to do the right thing. He did not touch my stuff or try to trick/force me to leave or get all passive-aggressive. So I am going to file more of a comment than a complaint.

But still, wasting several minutes of an entire doublesize P1 bus’s passengers’ time, to stop halfway to downtown, ask me to rack the folder (the bus has no rack which I pointed out and I explained PAT policy on that) and then phone the mother ship and confirm that I’m telling the truth, and thus making me miss the 6:15pm 41 (the next 41 is at 7:15pm which incidentally is why I own a folder: there is no easy waiting for the next bus) … that is pretty irritating no matter how you slice it. If I run into anyone else who didn’t make it to the last re-education roundup, I will escalate, nice guys or not.


sprite
Participant
#

Also, this particular bus wasn’t one, but I sincerely hate the racklessness and (above all) narrow aisles and lack of folded-wheeled-things room of the cushy coachlike type of doublesize buses. Here I’m probably at odds with fellow passengers though.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Is this a bus that bends in the middle, or is it a 1900-series Greyhound-like larger than usual bus with double rear axle?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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FWIW, I had a dispute with the guy in the farebooth at Library yesterday, trying to bring my bike on the T at 4:30 p.m. I was pretty sure we could take a bike on the T while going opposite rush direction at rush hour. The driver was perfectly OK with it, but I almost missed the train b/c of the discussion at the farebooth.

(Not trying to be a threadjack; just pointing out that I thought we had a lot of these issues settled & apparently we do not.)


sprite
Participant
#

Bends in the middle.

I never take the T during peak hours in the less-popular direction so I don’t know if peakness has directionality (for bikes, fares, or anything), interesting.


salty
Participant
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Maybe Scott can take back that “Organization of the Year” award he gave to the Port Authority. That’s pretty lame.


Steven
Participant
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I was pretty sure we could take a bike on the T while going opposite rush direction at rush hour.

I’ve never seen such a rule in anything from PAT, but it would be nice.

The cushy coachlike 1900-series buses seem to be mostly used on those long routes like the 13K that PAT’s been dropping. Maybe they’ll dump those buses too. They’re OK when everybody’s getting off at the same stop, and nobody has any big packages, and there are enough seats for everybody. Otherwise not so much.

Besides, PAT’s supposed to have a rack on every bus this summer. Can those even take racks? (Or does “every bus” in the announcement mean only the ones that can take racks?)


Noah Mustion
Participant
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PAT’s going to have racks on every bus? But they’re cutting service with a machete? Uh


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Bus 1926 has a bike rack, so it’s possible.

Those buses are approaching end-of-life, but they usually get 14 years out of them, which would be 2012-13. I don’t know if there are plans to replace them. The 13JK may be gone, but they’d work on plenty of other express routes.

I’m more interested in sprite’s concerns with “narrow aisles and lack of folded-wheeled-things room” that she reported.

Sprite, do you remember the bus number? Was it 30xx or 31xx? The older 30xx buses are getting replaced much sooner than the 31xx, which are only 7 years old.


WillB
Participant
#

The last round of bike racks were paid for with grant money from the R.K. Mellon foundation, so they couldn’t spend that money elsewhere. And anyway, I assume that they are capital expenses, whereas the Port Authority’s problems are in the operating budget.


sprite
Participant
#

Same driver (has a rack today, or I’d be having an angry day as you’ll see) says the training instructor at East Liberty garage left him a note that folding bikes CANNOT be carried on a bus “because they are metal” and that would be a safety hazard.

I will reach out to the people at my employer (Google) who have the contacts.


dwillen
Participant
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Hear that everyone? Your carbon fiber rides can be carried on any PAT bus now! Thanks Sprite! PAT really living up their organization of the year award.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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* makes a note to have PAT do something about all those baby carriages, grocery buggies, wheelchairs, quad canes and other metal objects that must also not be allowed *


dwillen
Participant
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…and two wheeled suitcases with metal pull handles on 28X. I’ll have tons of legroom heading to the airport now.


edward m
Participant
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PAT can not handle the business they got. You are lucky if you get a seat on the bus. Most folding bikes are for short people and got 20 inch wheels.


jfsabl
Participant
#

I took my folder on the bus a couple of times a week, all last spring and fall.

Mind you, in Japan, you have to stick your folder in a bag to take it on transit. Stops grease and “snags.” And it isn’t too tough to bungee a bag onto the folder (right on the frame, if you don’t use a rack). I say we certainly need to fight this fight. But in the meantime, if you really need to get where you’re going ASAP, bungie some sort of bag (even a giant trashbag) and yank it over the bike and bungee that bundle before you board.

Still sounds like an asshat move on the part of port authority–way to go, cutting your paying ridership, dudes.


sprite
Participant
#

edward m, I ride the P1 in the off peak direction. There are plenty of seats when you are going outbound in the a.m. and inbound in the p.m. ;) Room for carbon fiber rides for sure.

Policy hasn’t changed AFAIK which means this is just the same old same old (people able to enforce/teach policy think they get to make up a policy whenever they don’t agree with and/or know about the real one. Yay.)


sprite
Participant
#

Forgot to add, stealth works better when it’s not a daily commute where the drivers in that time frame know me by sight, hence my focus on reeducation. If it were an occasional random trip for fun I can see that working. The BF Tikit even comes with a stealth bag/shroud attached.


scott
Keymaster
#

First, Sprite, sorry to hear about yet another negative experience. I’ve forwarded this thread on to my contacts at the Port Authority and hopefully someone will respond. Training on policy continually seems to be an issue with operators. Supposedly something is being done this spring to address these issues. We will certainly follow through to monitor.

Second, Noah and others who feel the Port Authority shouldn’t bother with racks when it’s cutting service. Just know that not a single dollar besides staff time is coming from the Port Authority to complete the fleet with racks. The money is coming mostly from the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program, with some state money and a local match of 20-30% coming from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Scott, the next time you speak with your contacts there, suggest to them that the next buses to complete are the articulateds. An annoyingly high percentage of them have no racks. Now that a few of them have been moved to Ross Garage, they are being used on routes that formerly saw the better equipped 40-foot buses.

I also suggested to Port Authority in a tweet the other day that if they have rack-equipped buses being warehoused at Harmar, that they be swapped for rack-less buses elsewhere in the fleet.


sprite
Participant
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Thanks Scott!


erok
Keymaster
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stu, do you think that since they are getting rid of some of the older buses soon that they are just trying to run them into the ground?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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@erok – Possibly true, but they can’t take any off the road until they get new ones, and I don’t think that’s imminent. The next ones coming in are artics, I think. (the ones that bend in the middle)

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