Victory! Metro to allow bikes on trains

In September 2018, we learned that Metro was floating a new policy that would allow bicyclists to bring their bikes on Metro “during all hours.” We were understandably interested. But we needed to know more about how this policy might impact transportation options throughout the region.

So, we decided to petition our members and the results were overwhelming. We received nearly 1500 responses with plenty of feedback on how riders would navigate this new policy.

Overwhelmingly, WABA members said they would ride Metro more if they could take their bikes on during rush hour.

We followed up with Metro, urging them to look at the policy and move towards a more inclusive stance towards bicycles on Metro trains.

And Metro heard us.

Starting Monday, January 7th, “Metro customers will be able to bring their bikes with them on the train – at any time – as Metro ends a longstanding restriction that prohibited bicycles during rush hours.”

This is the culmination of decades of work by WABA members and advocates throughout the region. This policy change represents an opportunity for people and places to be more connected.

And that’s a good thing.

To be clear, this policy would not have happened without the advocacy of WABA members throughout the region. Quoting the press release, “(w)e received requests from Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and others in the bicycle community asking us to take a fresh look at our policy,” said Metro Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader. “We believe this change supports ridership growth by Metro a commuting option for those who want to have a bike with them.”

This is really good news for the region. However, we can’t stress just how important it is for bicyclists to use good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle. WMATA is creating new rules—like using doors at either end of the car and not the center doors, and to avoid blocking doors or aisles—that will help in implementation of the policy.

We will be following up to discuss best practices, how to navigate the new procedures and road testing this policy. To learn more, read WMATA’s press release here.

Photo Caption: WABA advocates in the 1970s taking a bike-sized cutout onto a Metro train. Starting Monday, January 7th 2019, bikes are welcome on all on trains, at all times.

Take your bike on Metro during rush hour?

Ever get off work and it’s raining? You rode your bike in, but you’re tired and you want to go home on the Metro. There’s the problem: you have your bike, so Metrorail at peak commuting hours isn’t an option.

Your choices? Brave the elements (and the dangerous streets…), wait for the bus or just leave your bike at the office (or you just don’t bike in the first place…).

Honestly, that kind of sucks.

Earlier this month, we learned that Metro is floating a new policy that would allow bicyclists to bring their bikes on Metro “during all hours.” This idea and language comes from a survey Metro sent out recently.

You would still have to “use your good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle.” And of course, “yield priority seating to seniors and people with disabilities, yield to other passengers, and not block aisles or doors.” So, basically, be respectful.

This is great news!

But changes like this aren’t made lightly. WMATA needs to hear from you.

Support bikes on Metro at all times!

WMATA still has to figure out how bikes can go on their trains without blocking aisles and/or the doors. So, eventually they will have to redesign their trains. But until then, this is a great first step.

To show your support for this possible change in policy, sign on to our letter to Lynn Bowersox, Assistant General Manager, Customer Service, Communications, and Marketing at WMATA.

Sign the letter!

To complete the survey, you’d need to sign up with WMATA, find the survey, and then complete it. (You can do so here).

Tomorrow: MTPD Outreach at College Park

Locked bicycle Metro Transit Police recently made registration available for cyclists who lock up around the system’s facilities. It’s free—and if you register your bike tomorrow at the College Park station, you’ll receive a free U-lock. MTPD recognizes the benefits of U-locks (they’re much harder to break than wire or chain locks) and hopes this outreach event will further reduce bike theft around stations. MTPD will be at the College Park station between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Read the full press release below the jump. Continue reading

Plan Your Bike to Work Day Via Metro

metro btwd Bike to Work Day is just over a week away (it’s next Fri., May 17)! In our regular blog series about Bike to Work Day 2013, we’ve addressed how to handle the event if you’re a multi-m0dal commuter. For those whose paths cross (or veer toward) Cheverly or West Hyattsville, consider registering for pit stops at those Metro stops. For the first time, WMATA is running Bike to Work Day pit stops for multi-modal commuters or for those who work around Cheverly or West Hyattsville. Show your support for WMATA’s efforts by making either one of these Prince George’s County stops yours on Bike to Work Day 2013. Each stop will have giveaways and demonstrations of how to mount your bike on a bus’ front rack. Expect safety tips, too! See WMATA’s PlanIt Metro blog for more information. WMATA has made a number of materials available to advertise its pit stops. Feel free to check out or circulate this banner and poster, as well as registration flyers (Cheverly, West Hyattsville) and smaller take-one sheets (Cheverly, West Hyattsville). Have you signed up for Bike to Work Day? When you register, you can join WABA or renew your membership at a discount, $25!

MWCOG Bike/Ped Subcommittee report

At yesterday’s Bike/Ped Subcommittee meeting, newly-elected chair Kristen Haldeman from WMATA announced the completion of a draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements study which is to be presented to the WMATA board in January. The most exciting element of this study is WMATA’s proposal to adopt a bicycling mode share goal which would triple the current share by 2020. As recently as 2007, only .7% of Metro riders arrive at the station system-wide by bike, compared to 33% by walking. Of course, some stations have a much higher bicycling arrival rate, like NIH/Medical Center, which tops the list. But, unfortunately, most other stations have almost no riders arriving by bike. Because building vehicle parking garages for the projected one million additional riders by 2030 is cost-prohibitive, Metro has to adopt more bicycle-friendly strategies. To achieve this goal, Metro has plans to provide more secure bicycling storage areas to encourage cyclists to leave their bike at the station all day. A lack of secure bike parking facilities was the number one complaint for passengers in the latest survey. Metro will be piloting different ideas for solutions to this ever-present problem including bike cages and additional security cameras in the coming months. WABA has offered to host a visioning session with WMATA bike parking staff to brainstorm on how best to accommodate more cyclists and their bikes safely and securely, and how WABA members can advocate and support WMATA’s increased bike share goal.