After that first week of service on the Red Line, when trains were stuffed to the gills with people and bikes, the operations and safety professionals here at Capital Metro set a limit on the number of bikes to four per car (eight total per train). Not too long after the limit was set did the caveat get added “when the trains are full.” (I was probably a bit zealous in posting the news about the limit to the blog. That same day Doug Allen was meeting the press at Downtown Station to talk about how the first week of service had gone, and I was sure that the bike limit would be discussed. I wanted the bicyclists to hear about the limit from us rather than watching it on TV or reading it in the paper.)
At any rate, lots of bikes riding on a train that has plenty of room available is not a problem. Only when the trains are standing room only does it become necessary to limit the bikes to four per car.
We haven’t had to turn away anyone with a bicycle, although lots of bikes are boarding. MetroRail is averaging about 86 bikes per day, and that number will certainly go up as ridership on the line develops.
Capital Metro is assembling a “MetroBikes” stakeholder group, to be led by Ed Easton and John-Michael Cortez, to develop a thorough bicycle management plan. As many of the comments indicated in response to my blog post in March, it’s not very customer-oriented to institute a limit but not also provide better amenities like secure bike parking. So, the goal of this group will be to set priorities, budget and timeline for upgrades to improve bicycle access to both MetroBus and MetroRail. We’ll keep you posted as to how this group shapes up. As always, let us know what you think.