Bike Travel

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I extend the support arm on the bike rack?

First, push the black knob in with the palm of the hand to release the self-locking ratchet mechanism. Next, raise the support arm up and over the front tire. Pull the grip straight and steady to extend the arm. Make sure you pull it all the way out. Do not twist or pull side to side as this may result in binding. Pull to fully extend the arm, then rotate the arm to place the hook over the tire as close as possible to the head tube of the bike.

I am a small person, and it's more difficult for me to extend the support arm. What should I do?

If necessary, use the palm of one hand to push in the black knob and extend the support arm, while holding the bike in place with the other hand. If you do not have enough upper body strength, try using the palm of your other hand to push in the black knob.

Do I need to stand in the lane of oncoming traffic to load my bike into the middle-position wheel tray?

No. With proper technique the middle position can be safely loaded such that the cyclist does not need to stand or step into the lane of oncoming traffic. This technique is as follows:

  1. Stand at the centerline of the bus.
  2. Turn the bike at a 90 degree angle to the rack (parallel with the curb), with the rear wheel closest to the bus.
  3. Lift the rear wheel onto the rack and rotate counter-clockwise.

Note that the third bike can be loaded from the curb.

Why does Metro want me to load the outside rack position first when there are no other bikes on the bike rack?

Having a bike in the outside slot (the slot furthest away from the front of the bus) assists bus drivers visually in leaving enough room between the bus and the vehicle in front of them.

Can I use the bike rack with fenders?

To ensure a proper and safe loading, the bike rack support arm must be as close as possible to the bicycle's head tube. Most fenders will flex under the support arm and be fine, but some types of fenders may not withstand the pressure of the arm. Cyclists are encouraged to check with their local bike shop for fenders made from a material that is robust enough to hold up under pressure.

Can I try a bus bike rack before I actually stand in front of an in-service bus?

Yes! There are several ways to test the rack to help you get a feel for how to use them.

  • Metro buses often visit community festivals and other events around the county to give information to the public about using transit. Feel free to ask the driver if you can try the rack while the bus is parked.
  • Several free-standing demo racks travel to public events and employer or campus transportation fairs so that people can try the rack. Look for a demo rack at your next transportation fair.
  • Practice racks are available at these locations on an on-going basis:
    • Bellevue College at 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
      Practice rack location: Inside the bus shelter atrium in front of the parking garage at the main campus next to the vending machines. Instructions are posted next to the rack. To make an appointment for personal assistance, contact the Office of Sustainability at sustainability@bellevuecollege.edu or 425-564-2720.
    • North Seattle College at 9600 College Way N, Seattle, WA 98103.
      Practice rack location: on the sidewalk along College Way by the flag plaza. Instructions are posted at the rack. To make an appointment for personal assistance, contact Mohamed Hamza, Transportation Coordinator, at Mohamed.hamza@seattlecolleges.edu or 206-934-0060.
    • University of Washington Seattle Campus
      The UW practice racks are currently unavailable. For updated information or assistance, contact Ted Sweeney, Active Transportation Specialist, at sweeney2@uw.edu or 206-616-7493.
    • Alki Bike & Board at 2606 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116.
      Customers should check shop hours before visiting to test the rack. 206-938-3322
    • Highline College at 2400 S 240 St, Des Moines, WA 98198.
      Practice rack location: Next to the bus shelter located on the south side of campus (view campus map). To make an appointment for personal assistance, contact the Director of Facilities at 206-878-3710 ext. 3793.
Loading your bike onto a Metro bus