We are nearing the end of our first week of MetroRail service. Things have gone fairly smoothly, and rider feedback thus far has been pretty positive. One (somewhat) surprising discovery this week has been the number of bicyclists taking advantage of MetroRail. We’re seeing about 90 bicycle boardings per day.
It is fantastic to see so many cyclists onboard. Unfortunately, some of the trains have been completely overloaded with bikes–like 6 to 8 in one compartment–and staff observations this week related to bike boardings and the bike hooks have been troubling.
Bikes by themselves are not exactly the problem; too many bikes sharing the space with lots and lots of passengers has resulted in a few passengers getting scraped by the bikes, and a lot of difficulty in moving in and out of the railcar. Herzog cautioned that with this number of bikes onboard, if there was an accident or a need to evacuate the car, passengers would not be able to safely get out.
So, eventhough we love our cyclists and we want you to ride with us, we are going to limit the number of bikes onboard to eight total per train (four per compartment). If you arrive at the station and you have bike #9, you will have to wait for the next train.
Fortunately there have been only a couple of instances in which there were more than eight bikes on the train, so the four-per-compartment limit may be enough capacity for the bulk of the trips.