Metro plans to remove the peak hour restrictions for bikes on Metro trains, and will present a recommendation to the Board of Director’s Operations Subcommittee on April 21.
The committee item, available here, recommends the removal of the weekday 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. bike ban on Metro Rail lines for some high-demand trains. Bicycles could be brought on all trains in all directions at all times if the ban is removed. If approved by the Board of Directors, changes would go into effect immediately.
The recommendation would better accommodate riders who use a bicycle for both the first and last segments of their trips, and overall, meet the expected growth in cyclists using Metro. The issue has been under study for the past year.
The current Bike-on-Rail policy has been on the books since September 2002and has, according to the Metro staff report to the Board, “impeded the full use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation.” From the report:
“Elimination of the time restrictions would allow unfettered access to the rail system. This would encourage more people to ride transit knowing that they would be allowed to begin and end their trips using bicycles; reduce their carbon footprints as more cars come off the road and increase MTA ridership leading to a more sustainable environment.”
Also part of the committee item is a recommendation to remove seats in light rail vehicles on the Blue, Gold and Green lines to accommodate more bikes. Seat removal is expected to improve accommodations for bikes and other large items on trains. At this time, only seats on the Red/Purple Lines have been removed to create extra space. Due to train car availability issues, seat removal would likely be completed by mid-2013.
Following consideration of the item in the Operations Committee, the item would then go to the full Metro Board April 28.
If the Board approves the new policy, an amendment would also be submitted for Metro Board approval reflecting the change to the agency’s Customer Code of Conduct, which establishes public rules for utilizing the Metro system.