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Bike Rack Success?

By 16 November 2008 26

It’s an interesting business watching Jon Stanhope come to grips with the huge Territory and Municipal Services portfolio.

“He’s actually visiting ALL the depots!” slightly awe-struck, and slightly concerned worker bees have been heard to utter over the weekend.

Part of the introduction process to municipal services for all new ministers appears to be a public declaration of love for the rinky little bike racks on the front of buses.

To that end he has announced that October has seen an amazing 28.7% rise in the use of the things to an average 295 bikes a day.

More racks + warmer weather = more usage.

We remain unconvinced that two bikes per bus is the foundation of a true multi-modal system.

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26 Responses to Bike Rack Success?
#1
Lenient8:30 am, 16 Nov 08

We remain unconvinced that two bikes per bus is the foundation of a true multi-modal system.

Obviously they are not lynchpin that forms the foundation of a booming mass transit system. But they do contribute to a bit of flexibility for travellers. I’ve used it on occassion, the biggest impediment to not using it has been you didn’t know for for which bus would have it on.

So far there have no fatalities from these racks.

#2
Holden Caulfield9:51 am, 16 Nov 08

How long does it take to load a bike onto one of these things?

#3
ACT Light Rail10:53 am, 16 Nov 08

Im advised there are now two types of bike racks. One plastic, the other metal. I heard a cyclist complaining about the plastic variety, apparently you have to take your pack rack or bike bags off before the plastic racks can secure the bike.

Ive seen bikes loaded and unloaded in about 15-30 seconds. The driver does not have to leave the bus,

#4
Holden Caulfield11:03 am, 16 Nov 08

15-30 seconds isn’t too bad I guess. I was wondering if it might take a bit longer and be a bit of an inconvenience for the other passengers.

#5
taco1:13 pm, 16 Nov 08

Holden Caulfield said :

15-30 seconds isn’t too bad I guess. I was wondering if it might take a bit longer and be a bit of an inconvenience for the other passengers.

Loading and unloading is rather quick, though I usually try and do it at the interchanges to lessen the inconvenience.

ACT Light Rail said :

Im advised there are now two types of bike racks. One plastic, the other metal. I heard a cyclist complaining about the plastic variety, apparently you have to take your pack rack or bike bags off before the plastic racks can secure the bike.

The bike and ride instructions have always advised to remove all items from the bike, it doesn’t have anything to do with the two styles of rack and the newer one being too weak.

All loose items (e.g. water bottles, bags, bike pumps, helmets) must be taken off the bicycle before placing it on the rack.

I do like having the racks available, even I don’t use them frequently – it’s great for when you rode in the morning and then it’s started raining in the evening, or when you’ve discovered you’ve got a flat from a slow leak when returning to your bike etc

#6
sepi2:34 pm, 16 Nov 08

It seems like as good start.

#7
Davo1112:37 pm, 16 Nov 08

It takes about 20 seconds to put the bike on the metal framed rack (assuming you’ve removed all the junk off your bike first). I had a bit of trouble the first time i placed it on, and that took about a minute, but I’ll be quicker next time.

#8
Very Busy3:08 pm, 16 Nov 08

I was sitting at Woden Interchange the other day. Two guys with bikes were waiting for the next 300 bus to go into the City. A third guy then rides in and sees the two others waiting so he rides off again (only 2 racks on each bus). Then when the 300 bus comes in, the third rider is already on the bus with his bike on the front. He just rode up to the bus stop near Hindmarsh Drive to jump the queue.

You would think that this pratice would slow the bus down – having to do an extra stop to load up the queue jumper.

Perhaps some bus stops should be designated for cyclists and others not.

#9
bd845:27 pm, 16 Nov 08

I doubt the figures can be backed up reliably anyway, the only way is a guess based on drivers say so, since the riders are not required to validate a ticket. Not that the ticket system is reliable anyway.

I also fail to see how it’s helping anything, other than take away fares that could be used to improve services . Also why bother riding a bike if you’re just going to the bus stop? It’s like parking your car at the shops, riding your bike down to the shops loading the bike in the back and driving to work. Rather pointless really.

#10
miz7:12 pm, 16 Nov 08

I’ve heard of people getting a free ride by walking their dusty, spiderwebby (ie obviously unused and probably unride-able) bike to the bus stop and using it to get a free bus ride. This from a bus driver. And why wouldn’t you?

All in all, it seems fairly pointless to give bikers a free ride.

#11
Morgan7:19 pm, 16 Nov 08

miz said :

I’ve heard of people getting a free ride by walking their dusty, spiderwebby (ie obviously unused and probably unride-able) bike to the bus stop and using it to get a free bus ride. This from a bus driver. And why wouldn’t you?

All in all, it seems fairly pointless to give bikers a free ride.

Why would you bother, just to save $3?

#12
flying doormat8:12 pm, 16 Nov 08

Some people are just tightarses – thats why they would get their shitty bikes and walk down to save a few dollars. Oh but if such a tightarse was to take the bus to work for say 200 work days a year at $6.00 a day(return trip) that would equate to $1200 to spend on something else. This is why they should have to pay the same as anyone else who uses the bus service.

#13
Jonathon Reynolds8:41 pm, 16 Nov 08

I just love the hypocrisy… it depends on how measure the success for “two wheeled” travellers.
If you are in a wheelchair then you pay a fare to use the bus.
If you are able-bodied on a bike you get to travel for free.

#14
bigred9:11 pm, 16 Nov 08

yeah buses should be free for all.

#15
Holden Caulfield9:24 pm, 16 Nov 08

Very Busy said :

I was sitting at Woden Interchange the other day. Two guys with bikes were waiting for the next 300 bus to go into the City. A third guy then rides in and sees the two others waiting so he rides off again (only 2 racks on each bus). Then when the 300 bus comes in, the third rider is already on the bus with his bike on the front. He just rode up to the bus stop near Hindmarsh Drive to jump the queue.

You would think that this pratice would slow the bus down – having to do an extra stop to load up the queue jumper.

Perhaps some bus stops should be designated for cyclists and others not.

Haha, that’s excellent. You call it queue jumping, I call it initiative. :p

#16
miz10:44 pm, 16 Nov 08

BTW, seems the bike racks are illegal in NSW. As the racks are being retrofitted to ALL the buses, ACTION buses will be precluded from crossing the border for school excursions, camps, etc. I imagine they will lose a fair slab of revenue.

Also, I am expecting ‘incidents’ over the bike racks in the near future [remember, you saw it here first!] How daft is it to have space for only two bikes? Better to have none at all than this. *sigh* It appears that another purportedly ‘reasonable’ ideological decision has had a daft outworking . . .

#17
taco11:25 pm, 16 Nov 08

bd84 said :

I doubt the figures can be backed up reliably anyway, the only way is a guess based on drivers say so, since the riders are not required to validate a ticket. Not that the ticket system is reliable anyway.

When a cyclist boards the bus driver records it in the ticket machine

bd84 said :

I also fail to see how it’s helping anything, other than take away fares that could be used to improve services

Seeing as there are only two bike slots, and they are not always used, the reduction in fares is negligible

bd84 said :

Also why bother riding a bike if you’re just going to the bus stop? It’s like parking your car at the shops, riding your bike down to the shops loading the bike in the back and driving to work. Rather pointless really.

Have you considered the scenario where someone does not have shower facilities at work, and thus they take their bike on the bus in the morning and then ride home in the evening?
Or rather than wait for the local service (and risk missing it/not show up/etc), ride to an interchange and then bus it the rest of the way?

The bike racks enable a lot of flexibility that may otherwise cause people to not ride or even catch the bus at all

miz said :

Also, I am expecting ‘incidents’ over the bike racks in the near future [remember, you saw it here first!] How daft is it to have space for only two bikes? Better to have none at all than this. *sigh* It appears that another purportedly ‘reasonable’ ideological decision has had a daft outworking . . .

I don’t really see how you could really fit more bikes onto the front of a bus, nor can I follow the logic that it’d be better to not have this facility at all

#18
Jonathon Reynolds12:31 am, 17 Nov 08

miz said :

Also, I am expecting ‘incidents’ over the bike racks in the near future [remember, you saw it here first!]

Actually it is amazing how quiet Pedal Power have gone on their campaign to ban “Bull & Roo bars” since the Government started fitting bike racks on buses. I guess they didn’t want to be caught out as a pot calling the kettle black.

#19
toadstool9:38 am, 17 Nov 08

I used the bike rack on a bus out of the city last week and the bus driver was incredibly angry that I would dare to use the rack on his bus. How unprofessional is that? If he is not happy with the system, maybe it s time he looked at a career change, as I think they are here to stay with racks being rolled out to all buses in the near future, not just the expresses.

#20
Jim Jones10:06 am, 17 Nov 08

Jonathon Reynolds said :

miz said :

Also, I am expecting ‘incidents’ over the bike racks in the near future [remember, you saw it here first!]

Actually it is amazing how quiet Pedal Power have gone on their campaign to ban “Bull & Roo bars” since the Government started fitting bike racks on buses. I guess they didn’t want to be caught out as a pot calling the kettle black.

That doesn’t make sense at all.

What are you trying to say?

#21
Delish11:21 am, 17 Nov 08

Two bike rake system is shit… They do not accept kids bike and they this to you normally with a hammering of the horn… It is real nice to have done to you when you have you child standing there wondering why the bus driver is abusing their mother!

#22
Delish11:23 am, 17 Nov 08

Sorry to happy to write and not check – They do not accept kids bike and alert you by hammering their horn..

#23
tylersmayhem1:22 pm, 17 Nov 08

We remain unconvinced that two bikes per bus is the foundation of a true multi-modal system.

I’d say the original introduction of bike racks with the capacity of only 2 bikes was a smart idea, as a pilot you could say. There is just no winning it would seem. The low scale pilot probably copped s**t for the proposal in the first place, but now it’s seen as a successful idea, it’s copping more of the same because they didn’t outlay more funds on a service that “might” work.

I think it’s great that we have another facility in our city to cater for all if they choose. While it’s another point for those motorists who seem to hate cyclists to add to their list, I’m assuming their lack of comments on this post is because they don’t care, as long as “we” are not riding on “their” roads. Instead, it’s probably widening the hatred for cyclists into the public transport commuter community now.

If there are people cheap enough to go to the trouble of carting their old bikes around to save $2.20 a trip on a bus, then let them have their money (and that’s coming from a tightwad) – they need it more than you I say. That’s unless I decide to use the bike racks legitimately, then I’d consider throwing your bike off the rack so I can use it if they were full.

If I choose to start using this bike rack option, I;d be more than happy to pay the regular fare. You might find that it’s the long term plan anyway – but enticing people to help test the bike rack option with a free ride seems like another smart move.

As for the honking s**tty bus driver situation, I’d be getting their rego or driver number and smacking it not only on here, but to ACTION as well. They should be formally disciplined for giving a bad reputation to a service which already struggles as it is to get commuters using it.

#24
jakez1:26 pm, 17 Nov 08

It’s a good idea, and I’d use it if there were some sort of guarantee that every bus had it (or at least the bus I needed to use). When I last used it, not even every intertown bus had the rack though so it became too time inefficient.

Pity too, if the Fyshwick bus had bike racks I’d never have to drive to work.

#25
shanefos1:32 pm, 17 Nov 08

bd84 said :

I doubt the figures can be backed up reliably anyway, the only way is a guess based on drivers say so, since the riders are not required to validate a ticket…

You are partly right. People with bikes don’t have to validate a ticket, but they are issued a ticket, so their patronage is recorded.

#26
amarooresident2:31 pm, 17 Nov 08

How many bus runs are there a day? Potentially two bikes per bus adds up to an awful lot I would have thought.

toadstool said :

I used the bike rack on a bus out of the city last week and the bus driver was incredibly angry that I would dare to use the rack on his bus. How unprofessional is that? If he is not happy with the system, maybe it s time he looked at a career change, as I think they are here to stay with racks being rolled out to all buses in the near future, not just the expresses.

Grumpy bus driver is a time honoured tradition handed down from generation to generation. It is part of their training.

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