Frequently Asked Questions about Metro's new three-position bike racks
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Why does my bus have a new bike rack?
Metro is converting its entire bus fleet to three-position bike racks to increase bicycle-carrying capacity. The new bike racks also accommodate more sizes and types of bikes than the old, two-position racks.
The new bike rack is plastic and does not look as sturdy as the old style of bike rack. Will it hold my bike securely?
The wheel trays of the new bike racks are made of a highly-durable urethane identical to the material bus bumper skins are made from. The bike rack support arms are made of high-grade steel and include a new ratcheting mechanism that increases bicycle retention over the previous two-position racks. These racks have been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer to ensure the bikes are adequately secured even when buses travel on rough roadway surfaces.
How do I extend the support arm on the new 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:
- Stand at the centerline of the bus.
- Turn the bike at a 90 degree angle to the rack (parallel with the curb), with the rear wheel closest to the bus.
- 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.
Is there somewhere I can go to practice loading my bike on the new bike rack before I actually use it on an in-service bus?
To practice loading your bike, 6 demonstration racks are available:
- Bellevue College at 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
You can now practice loading and unloading your bike onto a bus bike rack on the Bellevue College campus. A demonstration rack is available in the bus shelter atrium in front of the parking garage at the main campus, available Monday through Friday, 8:00-5:00pm. The demonstration rack is located inside the atrium next to the vending machines. Instructions are posted next to the bike rack so please feel free to practice loading and unloading your bike anytime you like. If you'd like to make an appointment for personal assistance, please contact Deric Gruen at (425) 564-2720 or send an email.
- North Seattle Community College at 9600 College Way N, Seattle, WA 98103.
NSCC’s demonstration rack is located on College Way, at the flag plaza, not far from the bus stop located on the west side of campus. Please feel free to practice loading and unloading your bike on this rack any day of the week. Instructions are available at the rack. If you'd like to make an appointment for personal assistance using this rack, please contact Toni Bajado, Transportation Coordinator, at 206-934-0060 or send an email.
- UW's University Transportation Center at 3745 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105, in the U-District, open Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The UW's demonstration rack is located outside the main lobby entrance next to the bike rack. Please feel free to practice loading and unloading your bike on this rack anytime you like. If you'd like to make an appointment for personal assistance using this rack, please contact Sara Brydges, Commuter Services Program Coordinator, at 206-616-7517 or send an email.
South King County:
- Highline Community College at 2400 S 240 St, Des Moines, WA 98198. The display rack is located next to the bus shelter located on the south side of campus (view campus map). The bus stop is served by Route 166. The rack is available to try out any time. If you would like to make an appointment for personal assistance, please contact Barry Holldorf, Director of Facilities, at 206-878-3710 ext.3793.