Metrolink adds bike cars!

As many of you know, Metro has been working to increase space for cyclists on its subway and light rail cars — and will be taking out a few seats here and there to help.

Metrolink is getting in the act, too — and vastly increasing room for bikes on two rail cars on the Inland Empire line. If cyclists respond, Metrolink says it’s prepared to add 10 more bike cars to its fleet.

Here’s the news release:

As part of a pilot program, Metrolink will introduce its first two “bicycle cars,” passenger railcars outfitted with space for at least 18 bicycles, instead of two slots like Metrolink’s other railcars. The agency hopes this will encourage more bicyclists to take the train to their destination.

To accommodate the additional bicycles, Metrolink crews removed 29 passenger seats on the bottom level of one of its railcars that traditionally seats up to 149 people.

“We hope to attract bicyclists whose public transportation options may be limited by available storage space,” said Metrolink CEO John Fenton. “We are committed to growing our ridership; to do that, we have to modify the type of services we offer.”

Metrolink used in-house resources to design and retrofit existing cars with additional storage for bicycles. The agency coordinated with bicycle advocates on the design, which was ultimately approved by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Initially, Metrolink’s “bicycle cars” will debut on the Inland-Empire line weekend beach trains, where the demand is highest for additional bicycle storage space. Bicycle cars can be identified by yellow decals located on the outside of the rail car.

Metrolink is prepared to add up to 10 additional “bicycle cars” to its fleet, depending on the success of the pilot program.

ABOUT METROLINK

Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 19th year of operations. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network.

26 thoughts on “Metrolink adds bike cars!

  1. It looks like this will require bike locks. Usually, I sit right by my bike on the Antelope Valley Metrolink, and watch it the entire time, not using bike locks.

    But, in a separate train car, I’d definitely need to bring locks, which is going to require a lighter lock if I take my “good” road bike.

    Ah, well. These cars are not on the AV Line yet, so I have time to prepare. Maybe that titanium lock I contributed to on Kickstarter will be ready by then . . .

  2. Also, what about stops where the train stops for only moments? Will they give you enough time to get to the bike car to retrieve your bike or do you risk the train taking off with your bike?

  3. @Steve Hymon thanks for the info. It’s always good to hear from the people at the head of these agencies getting out there. I know Metrolink is not Metro but they should do what Metro has done with social media including blogging like the source. I’m always happy to see metrolink posts here

    @conner yes! The time has come to recognize that Metrolink is no longer “peak commuter” service anymore and is going to have to grow into a Caltrain or Metra type role. The main thing I see holding this back though are the private railroad operators and the funding. While 30 minute headways and late night service is much needed the prices already are pretty steep. So it’s hard to find a way to accomplish this without pricing out much of the ridership.

  4. @Michele Chavez – All stops on Metrolink are announced a minute or so in advance, I’m assuming you would go downstairs, unlock your bike, and wait by the door before you get to the station just like the current bike riders do.

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  6. @Gary – Thanks. I guess I didn’t think that through very well. I was assuming that the car was dedicated to bikes and that I’d be seated in another car.

    If this works out and they add bike cars to the Antelope Valley Line, this should work out great for getting a whole group of us to CicLAvia.

  7. Wow, I can’t believe this. This means more seating lost for passengers that ride Metrolink Rail because of these “bikers” that begs so much for everything. This is a fact.

    I can’t believe Metro is removing a few seats from the subway and light-rail just to increase bike space. How unfair.

    I’m so tired of this “bike-mentality” going on mass transit, it’s ruining everything.

    These bikes racks and compartments are worst hing to mass transit.

    Another reason why I hate socialism.

    This what I think. Rather you agree or disagree with me, I’m not changing my opinion. I’m stand up for riders that don’t use bikes and are tired of seeing seats being lost due to bikers.

    The bikers you be happy they can bring their bikes onto the train but there no need for increases space because this means more seating lost and it’s unfair for regular riders.

    Is there any way to increase space without losing the seats?

  8. betterfuture, Metrolink is taking cars slated to be retired, then overhauling them and converting the lower level to bicycle space, and adding them to the trains. This means there’s actually a net INCREASE in seats as they are adding a sixth car to what would normally be five car trains. In doing so they are also saving some cars from the scrap heap.

  9. Security wise, I’d prefer keeping my bike in site. It is awkward standing duration of trip with bike though. Sitting with bike gets in the way of other commuters and can be safety risk. Is a bike corral option that can both maximize bike storage space and provide ease of access?

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