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Take TriMet’s online Bikes on MAX survey

Posted by on August 17th, 2007 at 8:15 am

Hanging on the MAX
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

As promised last week, TriMet has just released the online version of their Bikes on MAX survey.

They say it’s, “the most comprehensive study of bikes on light rail transit conducted to date in the U.S.”

This survey is not to be confused with the version they’ve been passing out to cyclists aboard trains for the past few weeks.

Here’s more from the official statement sent along with the survey announcement:

“TriMet wants to learn more about people who ride both bikes and MAX light rail. We have very little information about how many people are taking bikes on MAX and/or biking to MAX. This survey will tell us where bikers are coming from and where they are going. We also want to know how riders are using our bike parking facilities and about the types of trips they are making (work, recreation, school, etc.). This information will help TriMet improve integration of bicycles and MAX.”

The survey will be active through 11:59pm on Friday, August 24th.

Click here to take the survey.

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

  • Seth Alford August 17, 2007 at 9:40 am

    I just took the survey. It still has a bias toward locking up bikes at MAX stations. There\’s a box for comments at the end of the survey. Here\’s what I put into the comment box:

    Now that you\’ve allowed bicycles on MAX, and people have moved and taken jobs that include a bike-on-MAX trip, and you\’ve sold additional MAX lines with the understanding that we could take our bikes on it, I think it\’s unfair for you to now say, \”Uhh, no bikes, or you have to spend hundreds to buy a new folding bike.\”

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  • Jeff Ong August 17, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Yeah, this is really a walk-the-walk kind of issue for Tri-Met… bikes on the MAX and on buses make it much easier to live car-free in Portland. If their stated goals of reducing personal vehicular traffic are sincere, they need to find a way to make this work.

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  • John Ochwat August 17, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I know why they\’d like to reduce bikes on the MAX, but I agree that lockers aren\’t the answer. I\’m a westsider, and I\’m already forced to wait for red line trains at rush hour to get my bike on. I feel that\’s sacrifice enough.

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  • Ivy August 17, 2007 at 10:20 am

    I agree that there didn\’t appear to be a comprehensive section trying to analyze WHY people might want to take their bikes on the MAX. It appeared to be geared more towards how TriMet could keep bikes OFF MAX. Hmmmmm!

    There was a section on the survey that said something like, \”Would you use bike lockers if they were provided?\”, and the only answers you could give were \”yes\” or \”no\” – when the answer I feel most bikers would give would be, \”sometimes – depending on the nature and circumstance of my individual trips\”.

    Contrary to popular belief, we don\’t all take our bikes on the MAX soley with the intent of annoying TriMet and clogging up the system.

    Just like everybody else in Portland, we have places to go, and people to see, and sometimes our trips involve bicycling at BOTH ends.

    As a result, I was hesitant to tick \”yes\” to TriMet\’s questions asking if I would support better bike facilities at MAX stations.

    Because, while of COURSE I would support better bike facilities at MAX stations, I\’m not sure I could support them, at the expense of not being able to take my bike on the MAX itself also. And I didn\’t want my answers supporting better biking facilities at stations to be turned around by TriMet and used as factual evidence bikes should no longer be allowed on trains.

    If I can\’t MAX AND bike it in combination from time to time, then I have to drive. Period.

    So I agree wholeheartedly. Thank TriMet for taking the time to hear our opinions. Voice your support for better bike lockers & other station facilities.

    BUT !

    Also use the comment box to stress that you rely on MAX to get you AND YOUR BIKE places once you get off the train again too!

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  • Dk August 17, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Survey is totally bised on keeping bikes off MAX. Biking is 99.9% of the fun getting to your destination at the other end. MAX isn\’t the prime mode for cyclists, just a middleman.

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  • Paolo August 17, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Where is the survey on the Tri-met website? I could not even see it on their page. From the way the survey is made it looks like they want to improve the bike parking and not have bikes on MAX, I feel that is a bad strategy, it will only make more people drive. Do they know anything about the bike theft problem in Portland? I am very disappointed with Tri-met.

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  • Tasha August 17, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Unfortunately, it will not make me drive, because I don\’t even have that choice! I share a car with my husband and we have very different schedules, so we cannot carpool. I rely on my bike and the MAX to get from place to place 3-4 days out of the week. What this would mean for me is HAVING to ride my bike everywhere, no matter what the weather, no matter how steep the hill, no matter how I\’m feeling that day, without the option of the MAX and/or buses to make my trip a little easier on my body and mind. I use my bike at both ends of my trip, not just one. So if they ban bikes on the MAX, I am screwed and will have to totally rearrange my schedule to accomodate having to cycle more and have longer commutes.

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  • peejay August 17, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Here\’s the comment I left in my survey:

    I understand that TriMet wishes to ban bikes from the Max, which I believe that it\’s unnecessary, unfair, and unwise.

    First, even though I use the Max during rush hour, I rarely encounter a train where I cannot comfortably fit a bicycle. The only times this does occur are afternoons returning to downtown during special events, like the beerfest or Rose Festival. I think it\’s a bad idea to set policy that favors festival travel patterns over routine commuting patterns.

    I also believe that if you choose to ban bicycles from the trains, to be fair, you must also ban all luggage, packages, strollers, and other objects above a certain size. If passenger capacity is an issue, then it\’s unfair to single out bikes over any other type of object a TriMet rider might bring aboard a train.

    Any overly restrictive bike policy by TriMet will have the net effect of discouraging bicycle use in Portland. It\’s been shown that many people would choose to ride if only they could feel safer doing so, and if there were easier routes. For myself, as much as I enjoy riding, I may end up driving to work again if my bike/Max/bike commute is eliminated. Surely, this cannot be TriMet\’s objective. Everything should be done to promote any form of transport that gets people out of their cars, and if TriMet goes ahead with this wrong-headed solution to a perceived problem, you will be forcing many riders back into their cars.

    The Max\’s ridership is going up every year. That\’s something to celebrate! It also creates problems, because of overcrowding. But the best solution can hardly be to ban a whole class of ridership from using the Max. Banning bikes from Max trains during rush hour is nearly as blunt an instrument, and just as bad.

    Any attempt to ameliorate the effect of a bike ban with increased locker capacity is inadequate and utterly useless for most riders. I, like many other riders, have a bike/Max/bike commute, and need my bike at both ends of the journey. I have put a fair amount of money in my bike and could not easily afford to have a duplicate of this bike tied up at a Max station just to complete my trip every day. The same applies for a folding bike, since any quality folder is well over $1000, and really isn\’t a good all around bike, anyway. I don\’t see people being able to afford the additional equipment burden.

    I can suggest some alternative solutions to overcrowding, all of which are better than a bike ban:

    1. Increase the number of trains. More riders, more trains. The math just doesn\’t get much simpler.

    2. Remove more seats. Take one section of each car and make it standing only. The space is more adaptable for all types of passengers, and their belongings.

    3. Do a better job catching fare-cheaters, many of which bring bikes and other unwieldy things on board (garbage bags full of empty cans, for instance).

    4. Charge a fee for a bike (or other large object) permit. I\’d gladly pay an extra $10 or so per month for a bike permit. You can revoke the permit for those users who are uncooperative or disruptive.

    Please realize that the cycling community is large, informed, organized, motivated, and politically involved. We have already forced Mayor Tom Potter to reconsider his decision to cancel the Bicycle Master Plan from the city budget, and we would not shy away from a fight in this case, if it came to that.

    But I honestly hope it does not. Just make the right decision regarding bikes on the train, so Portland can continue to lead the nation in transit alternatives.

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  • CD August 20, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    I agree with everyone\’s posting. TriMet is ignorant to think that more bike facilities such as lockers at transit centers is going to solve \”the problem\”. This survey is on a slippery slope and seems to be designed to oppose bikes on trains.

    TriMet\’s responsibility is to get more cars off the road, not to discourage alternative commuting (which includes bikes). They need to recognize that a whole new group of commuters have discovered a way to leave there cars at home by biking to the train. If this option did not exist, these people (including myself) may get back into their cars, since no other reasonable option may exist with there location.

    TriMet, do the right thing and work with bike commuters!! Its good for our planet and our health.

    PS I am still unclear of the \”problem\”. Has TriMet received complaints about bikes on trains? I never knew it was a problem. I think the survey should be geared to why other transit commuters aren\’t on bike:)

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