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TriMet security still saying, ‘No hook, no ride’

Posted by on June 27th, 2008 at 11:14 am

[UPDATE: Please see this story (posted at 5:35pm) for TriMet's clarification of this incident.]

bikes on max-1
(Photo © J. Maus)

After over a year, and following clarifications from TriMet staff, their contracted security personnel are still allegedly telling some people that they cannot board a MAX train unless a hook is available.

Back in April of 2007, I shared reports from readers that were incorrectly told that they could not bring their bikes on board because there was no hook available.

In that story, TriMet strategic planner Eric Hesse said the security staff was not properly enforcing TriMet policy. He clarified with me that “there is no specific requirement that a bike hook be available,” and added that, “we have clarified this point with our inspectors and expect no further issues in this regard.”

But on Wednesday, another report of the same situation appeared on the Trimetiquette blog. The incident below happened on the MAX Blue Line at the 185th St. stop:

She [the blogger's wife] was about to board, when she saw that Trimet ticket checkers were not letting cyclists board unless there was an empty hanger for their bike. Train after train they were kicking people off from previous stops, a group of 20-30 cyclists standing confused gathered

My wife said one cyclist challenged them verbally and was given another ticket. His defense was that he was not blocking any one from moving in the cabin, and as he (and I) understood Trimet’s rules, this was allowed. No tolerance, bike on hanger or bike off train.

After reading that account, I asked TriMet’s Colin Maher for an explanation. Here’s how he responded:

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention and for giving me a chance to respond.

As this is the first I’ve heard of this incident, I can only speak from a policy perspective. The policy is stated on our website:

http://www.trimet.org/howtoride/bikes/bikesonmax.htm

If bikes aren’t on a hook, they must be placed in one of the designated areas (see website for details). TriMet tries to accomodate all passengers, but there isn’t enough room for people to stand in the aisles with bikes, especially on crowded trains. The confusion in the past was over bikes in designated areas, not bikes in the aisle.”

So, to clarify, here is the official policy (taken from TriMet’s website):

“If all the hooks are taken, you may use an area displaying the wheelchair symbol when there are no senior or disabled passengers present…”

TriMet’s policies on bringing bikes on board has long been the source of confusion for some riders, and with third-party security officers trying to enforce them, problems seem inevitable — especially now that ridership levels are at an all-time high and TriMet is trying to deal with bike capacity issues.

TriMet has the right to deny people with bikes from boarding trains when they are too crowded, or when no space is available. But hopefully, this confusion over hooks and where bikes are allowed, can be remedied so that we avoid misunderstandings in the future.

What has been your experience with this issue? Do you find TriMet’s policies about boarding MAX with your bike confusing?

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  • BURR June 27, 2008 at 11:22 am

    TriMet sucks

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  • [...] BikePortland has contacted TriMet and has received a response, read here: http://bikeportland.org/2008/06/27/trimet-security-still-saying-no-hook-no-ride/ [...]

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  • John June 27, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I can\’t say that I\’ve ever had a problem bringing my bike on Max. I didn\’t even know about this latest incident until a reporter interviewed me this morning on Max during my daily commute. I\’d like to know which station the reporter was with as I didn\’t ask but would be interested in seeing the segment.

    But with Trimet increasing fares again, they need to do more to ensure that cyclists have a dedicated spot on Max and that other passengers should be made to vacate the bike spaces. Cyclists shouldn\’t be 2nd class citizens. Trimet really needs to do something positive soon as I\’ve occasionally seen up to 12 bikes in one half of the low body cars.

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  • Christian June 27, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I\’ve had some experience with bringing my bike on MAX and on the bus. Honestly, it\’s an easy experience on the bus – if it has space in the front, you\’re set.

    The MAX is a whole different animal. I\’ve had it where we had to wait since all of the hooks were being used on several trains that passed by before we could get on. My fiancee and I even had an instance where someone WOULDN\’T MOVE from below one of the hooks. We asked and he did not move. Granted, it was a little packed, but come on now. So we shared one hook with two bikes… which was terrible (for the bikes and for me having to hold it up so it wouldn\’t slip off).

    The policy itself is, eh, kinda confusing. There are some designated spaces on the high-platform MAX trains which, if I were to bring my bike up there, people would give me bad looks even though there are stickers saying it\’s a designated bike carrying space.

    I just think people don\’t care if they\’re standing in an area where a bike needs to go. Some people do, some just don\’t. Some give you the rolly eyes and move.

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  • bigB June 27, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I bring my bike on max and the bus sometimes, but feel people without a bike should be given higher priority than me. I consider people without bikes the more vulnerable user and just like pedestrians we should yield to them.

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  • chuck June 27, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I\’ve never been turned away from the MAX due to the hooks already being in use, but I have skipped a train due to it being way too crowded, missed the train trying to scramble to the last car to use one of the hooks still open, and gotten the stink eye from people when I ask them to move so I can hang my bike/asked them to move so I can get my bike down.

    Regardless, it sounds like Tri-Met does indeed need to do something about this. More frequent trains would help ease overall crowdedness, or some sort of better designated bike areas on the current trains.

    This kinda makes me think it might be a good idea to carry a copy of the offical TriMet rules surrounding bikes with me when I do use the MAX.

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  • brd June 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    TriMet does not suck.

    I bring my bike from Goose Hollow to Sunset most mornings and have not had any issues with security when no hooks are available.

    I would agree that Tri-Met does need to clarify the rules as it is only going to be more crowded.

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  • DJ Hurricane June 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    TriMet does suck.

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  • Todd Boulanger June 27, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Trimet is one of the more progressive bike accessible systems in the US…since they ended the Bike Permit requirement.

    But having said that…this is a long ongoing issue that staff training should have by now cleaned up.

    They were incorrectly removing/ denying access to transit bicyclists in a similar manner over 4 years ago. [Our Trimet sanctioned RU Bridge Curious tours ran into this issue even when we had small tours of ~6 riders.]

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  • Adam June 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    How about Trimet makes half of a car that is nothing but bike hooks. With adequate seating to accomodate the cars bike capacity. Portland is growing, especially in number of cyclists. Trimet needs to grow with them.

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  • Gary Mac June 27, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Sucks, doesn\’t suck – it\’s all an opinion. Here\’s mine. I agree with bigB – bikes should yield to peds on the trains. The relationships between car/bike/ped (and unicycle) will continue to be bumpy during this transition time. How about cars configured for bikes only? I know this isn\’t pratical now, but…

    The bus does work very well, in my experience.

    \”We should all be best friends\”
    - Gil Penalosa

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  • E June 27, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Only once in my experience did Trimet security interfere with bikes on MAX. On that occasion, they were telling cyclists on a very crowded front car that there was plenty of room for them in the back. The driver waited while a half dozen cyclists moved to the rear. Everyone was happy.

    Trimet might suck when held up to some imaginary ideal, but compared to other transit systems in the real world, it\’s pretty good. I take my bike frequently and am only occasionally frustrated by overcrowding, and even then it\’s usually a temporary problem – catch the next train, take a different bus, etc. I am fortunate to live close in and have options; it\’s much tougher for folks in outlying areas with greater distances to cover and fewer buses and trains.

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  • JDL June 27, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    I\’ve loaded my bike on MAX hundreds of times and never had a problem with ticket checkers or security guards. Sometimes I can hang my bike on a hook; other times all the hooks are taken so I have to stand with my bike. Only once did I encounter a train so full that it couldn\’t accommodate one more bike. TriMet\’s written policy for bikes on MAX could be clearer – particularly about where you can stand with your bike. I suspect this recent incident was caused by a ticket checker who misunderstood the policy.

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  • toddistic June 27, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    in my opinion the security gustapo should be enforcing passes in dangerous areas, not harassing people who try to get to and from work. to this end, they should be stepping up enforcement on the yellow line, and the blue line out east where people are being beaten up and stabbed. it baffles my mind the audacity these \”3rd party\” contractors display by giving tickets to people who have a right to use the system. further, they should be available during the low peak hours, protecting citizens who use Trimet in off hours when its not as safe.

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  • DJ Hurricane June 27, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    What toddistic said.

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  • Paul Tay June 27, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Hey, how \’bout taking some notes from the highway widening people? Add MORE trains. Problem SOLVED.

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  • miguelaron June 27, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    so, what does this mean for zoobombers?

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  • Meep June 27, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Hm, I think that means they kicked me off incorrectly, because I was standing in an unoccupied wheelchair area.

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  • huss June 27, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    They need a small car between the two main cars to hold bikes, and maybe people with dogs also? Or strollers with kids etc.

    Room for everone…..Peace.

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  • chuck June 27, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    not so much of a problem with full trains at 11pm on a sunday night. :)

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  • Donna June 27, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    What about all the humongous strollers clogging the aisles and doorways? Why is it that the security people are so zealous about enforcing rules for bikes but fail to do anything at all about the Sherman tank-like strollers that make riding the MAX such a miserable experience? In my experience, at least 98% of cyclists will go out of their way to move their bikes so people will get through. Very few stroller pushers ever do that.

    Fair is fair. If bikes must be on hooks, then strollers musn\’t block aisles and doorways.

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  • b June 27, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    ok, so you board a train with your bike. all the hooks are taken, but THANKFULLY there are no seniors/disabled passengers sitting in the designated wheelchair area.

    however, one will eventually board and sit there.
    is that when you are forced to get off the train (at some random stop that that you may or may not be familiar with)?
    is that when you\’re forced to frantically scan the next trains hoping that you can see a empty hook or wheelchair area and make a dash down the platform to board that particular train before it leaves?
    you may have to wait for hours, especially during peak travel time.

    oh, and how does one verify the \”seniority\” of a passenger or even their potential handicap????
    are cyclists now suppose to confront passengers and demand proof of their age and/.or handicap?????
    \”excuse me madame, you don\’t appear to be handicap and/or over 65 yrs old…. and i don\’t really feel like de-boarding the train, so could you just please verify your age or handicap so i can figure out if i\’m actually forced to leave the train? thanks\”

    wow, i\’m glad i only take my bike on the max once a year (on average). however, this just adds to the laundry list of why i never bother to bus/max my bike anywhere.
    i feel bad for the all the people that use the max as a integral part of their work commute to and from the burbs.

    seems like trimet doesn\’t want to think outside the box on this one.

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  • Matthew Denton June 27, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I skipped a train this morning because it was too crowded to put my bike on. It isn\’t very common that I do that in the morning, (much more often in the evening,) but I think it is probably going to become more of a problem… 95% of the time, (and indeed in this case,) the train behind it is mostly empty. But long term, I\’m thinking of renting a locker downtown for my bike, (it is $25/3 months,) and then another one at Beaverton TC, (free.)

    I\’ve noticed a new sign on some of the trains recently: It says something like \’please allow cyclists access to the hook.\’ Not a \”required to move\” like for the senior/disabled section, but then the bicycle lobby hasn\’t passed any laws like ADA, (yet.)

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  • peejay June 27, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    My experience: I ride every weekday from Goose Hollow to Sunset round trip. My commute is threeish miles of riding at each end, so lockers don\’t do it for me. Now, I\’ve never been asked to leave the train, or denied entry to a train, although I\’ve been in some pretty packed situations, and have voluntarily skipped getting on a sardine can or two.

    The fact is that TriMet\’s ridership is made up of cyclists and non-cyclists. They should serve the needs of both groups. If they find themselves without enough bike room, they should think about expanding the facilities. However, the mix is always changing. In the summer, there are going to be more bikes; in the winter, more Blazer fans. The best solution is to configure the trains such that the space is flexible, and allows plenty of bikes but isn\’t wasted space when there are more bikeless riders at a given time.

    As a separate issue, I have utter distain for the mostly unaccountable, and universally undertrained \”rent-a-cop\” security that TriMet relies on. They don\’t know the rules, and make stuff up.

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  • Me2 June 27, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Does anyone know what happens if a bike is occupying the disabled spot. A person with a wheelchair boards the same car and needs that spot? If there is no room does the biker have to get off of the train?

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  • Red Dawn June 27, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    from what i\’ve gathered from local news cycles:

    1. There will be more security enforcing the fareless zones and checking tickets more often to keep the cars safe from hooligans.

    2. People are getting robbed on the train.

    3. Bikes are being kicked off and a growing rate.

    classic rent-a-cop behavior. They\’re too scared to deal with punk kids, so they fill their quotas with bikers. damn shame.

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  • RyNO Dan June 27, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    It seems to me that pedestrians should have
    the priority on the trains. And since the trains
    are full, and there\’s no way to add additional
    train cars, and the tracks are full,
    the bikes on the trains will have a lower
    priority and must yield.

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  • alley June 27, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    if they kick you off they should definitely give you your money back…

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  • Neil June 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    This problem is probably different at different times of day. Two years ago, I used to commute from Sunset to Goose Hollow during morning rush hour. I don\’t recall ever seeing security guards. The trains leaving Sunset for downtown are always full during rush hour. There was usually plenty of room but people don\’t move from the doorways to the aisles unless they have to. I found that pushing my bike into the car always made room. When the train is that crowded navigating through the people to get to the hooks is pretty much impossible so I just stood by the door with my bike. I\’m not a jerk, but I felt like I had to act like one to get onboard.

    The situation is messed up and Trimet does suck for not pro-actively coming up with a solution. I might be doing the same commute again soon and I am not looking forward to the hassles.

    Trimet also sucks for not dealing with the lack of parking at Sunset TC. During the winter, I used to park at Peterkort Square and walk. That\’s a long way to walk in the dark and rain. If I do start that commute again, I\’ll seriously look into getting a parking spot downtown or maybe getting a scooter. A Trimet pass will soon be $86, car parking is $155, and motorcycle parking is $30.

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  • JeffW June 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    If there\’s confusion about where a bike can be when no hooks are available, can\’t we get a bike box painted in the train just like on the streets? The costs can\’t be that prohibitive, and the marketing\’s already done.

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  • Tbird June 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    folding bike=problem solved.
    sorry to say it, but we\’re lucky to be able to bring big bikes on a the MAX. Most other place in the US, and even in Europe, you have ZERO options for bringing a bike into the passenger compartment of light rail. My feeling is that should end completely and if you want to bring bike on board, either pay an extra fare and put the bikes in a separate car or use a folder.

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  • Riding max lowers my IQ by 20 points. You? June 27, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    The Trimet page says, \”If non-bicycle riders occupy an area displaying the bike symbol, you may politely request that these passengers move from the area.\”

    This is a little frustrating. What if the person says no? I would like the page to be clear. I assume the real deal here is, \”A passenger is not required to move to allow you to be in this spot with your bike, though you are welcome to ask. Please ask politely.\”

    Trimet recently changed the wording in senior/disability spots from \”please yield\” to \”you must move\”. Was this web page overlooked in that transition? Perhaps the official policy is now that folks must move to make room for a bike and the page just doesn\’t say so.

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  • SkidMark June 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I use the train to ride from Beaverton Transit Center to Goose Hollow. I never took the polka-dot jersey in the TDF so I am not up to riding up and over the West Hills every single time I go into the City. It is also dicey riding on streets like barbur, Capitol Highway, and Farmington at night because they are not that well-lit. If you talk to the majority of cyclists on the train in that area you\’ll find they are there for the same reason.

    If I never rode a Tri-Met train again I would be happy, but I will be living out here until the younger one is finished with school because the schools out here have a better band program, and this is where all her friends are.

    A folding bike is not the answer if you are riding a specific bike for a specific reason, like there are no folding track bikes, mountain bikes, BMX bikes, or tallbikes. For me a bike is more than a commuting tool, that is what a train is.

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  • the one June 27, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I just spoke with Trimet and they said they might be changing the rule to only one bike per hook, no others. Perhaps people can write trimet and the BTA. I wonder if folding bikes would be kicked off too. I have a Xootr Scooter, and they let me stay on Wednesday, when I saw the cyclists kicked off. I do think the should be focusing on gangs, teenagers and methheads that threaten people every day. I think it must be easier for them to confront Intel and Yahoo employees trying to get to work. They said they get many complaints about bikes, but I think not as many as for violence, than real trouble makers. The drivers never help when someone is going berserk, and if you complain, people think you\’re the problem. People hold an idealistic view about what goes on in Portland, but sometimes the reality doesn\’t match. It may be better than Houston, but New York has less fights on their transit systems, per capita, and people always try to help out. There is room for improvement in our lovely city, and trimet might even be taking away some rights from cyclist soon if not addressed.

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  • Justa June 27, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    pedestrians should definitely take priority on public transport. let\’s not forget that our BIKES are our transportation–riding the MAX is a luxury that expedites our commute by a few minutes, and that\’s only if it\’s in the outlying areas–if you\’re downtown, where things are often more packed, the vast majority of you are capable of beating the train to the other end.

    the majority of my experiences with tri-met in general as a cyclist have been overwhelmingly positive. just yesterday a bus driver who had a full rack insisted that i wheel my road bike into the back with me rather than wait for the next bus.

    honestly, this incident just sounds like ill-informed, power-happy rent-a-cops.

    p.s. zoobomb + trimet = love

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  • bjorn June 27, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    #27 I don\’t agree that there is no way to add more cars. Trains could easily be 4 cars long during rush hour. What would that mean, well it would mean that each time a train passed it would block a street for a short period of time. The question is would it be worth it to block some streets for 30 seconds or so every few minutes in order to make sure that there is space during peak periods. I say yes it would.

    Also I think a recent survey showed that 20% of max users take their bikes, the new trains have capacity of 334 people and hooks for 8 bikes which represents less than 2 percent of the capacity. I think it is fine if they want to say bikes should use racks, but the rack space is clearly inadequate.

    Bjorn

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  • Axe June 27, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    \”sorry to say it, but we\’re lucky to be able to bring big bikes on a the MAX. Most other place in the US, and even in Europe, you have ZERO options for bringing a bike into the passenger compartment of light rail.\”

    That doesn\’t mean we shouldn\’t work to change a system that is still flawed. It may be better than most but that doesn\’t mean it can\’t be improved.

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  • Abbey June 27, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I\’ve had issues multiple times with fitting my bike on the Max, and I don\’t even do it that often. Usually, there\’s enough space, but the issue is with the passengers who stand there and stare blankly like they\’ve never heard the term \”excuse me\”. This isn\’t just a problem when I have a bike; people in Portland just stand in the worst possible places with absolutely no awareness of those around them. I\’ve been on much more crowded systems in other cities that function better because people in those places pay attention. I think Trimet needs to have a campaign on basic consideration.

    I don\’t think that pedestrians should have automatic priority. For many people, biking for part of their commute is what makes carfree commuting feasible. Many of those \”pedestrians\” end up hopping in their cars at the Park \’n Rides. I\’m not saying thats bad – but biking shouldn\’t be discouraged in favor of driving. However, bikes do take up more space and I think it\’s reasonable to pay a little extra. I certainly would do so to ensure that I would be allowed to take my bike.

    I\’m glad that some people have pointed out the inconsistencies of the policies. Strollers are just as bad when it comes to blocking aisles. Also, on the red line, big luggage is an issue. I\’m not saying that these items shouldn\’t be allowed, but if it\’s ok for those things to block the aisles, then why are bikes such a big deal?

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  • J June 27, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Kudos to whoever mention the gigantic strollers that block entire isles/doorways all at once. Those ones with the huge MTB tires are pretty crazy.

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  • BURR June 27, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    if the designers of the MAX lines had had the foresight to put the trains underground in the downtown core (like most other metro areas do), train length wouldn\’t be an issue, nor would crashing your bike on the plethora of street-level tracks now present downtown. Bad planning = bad results.

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  • 180mm_dan June 27, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I concur with Burr\’s point – We\’re all going to regret MAX *on* the streets instead of under.

    I was warned by security about the no-hook=no-bike.

    It may be incorrect but that\’s they way the rule is enforced.

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  • John June 27, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    The bike must be on a hook rule is going to be tough for some of us as the rims and tires of a lot of cruisers and MTB\’s don\’t fit in them.

    One solution that might work would be to remove the seats in one of the bike/handicap area and put the rail with the hook parallel to the length of the train rather that across the width the way it is now. I bet we could fit 6-8 bikes in that space.

    4 bike spaces per car isn\’t enough at rush hour and a lot of us need our bike for the commute at both ends.

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  • erin g. June 27, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Hopefully this policy will evolve. I recently made my first ride out to the coast with a group of seven friends, thanks to the head-start we obtained by taking the Max to Hillsboro (which kept the ride just under 100 miles, plenty for me!). We all shared the same Sunday morning light rail car, and it was no problem for other passengers; our bikes were no imposition. I hope that Trimet will foster rather than discourage using the Max as a carfree solution to support such positive sorts of recreation. Let\’s live up to our status as Platinum Bike City (and beyond), and that means accommodating cyclists who opt not to drive when possible.

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  • SkidMark June 27, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Hey John, Tri-Met has a rule about \”oversize tires\” and an equally preposterous one about \”excessively dirty bikes\”. I think both were put in there so the could kick off the mountain bikers who ride trails illegally in Washington Park.

    Jonathan has a post on here somewhere about the rules pertaining to bikes.

    I think the smart thing to do would be to carry a copy of Tri-Met actual rules so you can whip them out when a Wackenhut Security Guard hassles you. That and the handout from the ACLU about how to deal with Police questioning you.

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  • SkidMark June 27, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    20\” 48 spoke BMX wheels won\’t fit on the hook, because the spokes are too close together.

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  • Icarus Falling June 27, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Once again,
    Screw Tri Met and the great white horse they rode in on. And this time I am saying it with conviction!

    With all the problems on the trains, they pick extra bikes as the one to fix.
    Short Story here:

    I was on the way to bike polo in the third weekend in May, and, since it is so very far from my house, I cheated and rode the \”Shame Train\” from Delta Park to Killingsworth.

    I witnessed a older (48) year old black man manhandling, grab assing, and harassing 3 12 -14 year old girls. I mean, seriously grabbing and coming on to them.

    We get to Lombard, the girls get off the train, and he begins to follow them off.
    I grabbed my bike, put it in the train doorway, dropped it, and grabbed the guy by the shirt collar. A Fare inspector was standing about ten feet away, and after hearing the story I told him what happened, he spoke to the girls, who verified the story.

    Instead of doing anything at all about the guy I still had a hold of (another passenger and witness moved my bike onto the platform for me), he tells me there is no way to prove it, and he had to let him go. We of course had a handful of witnesses right there to prove it. I mentioned he probably has a warrant or something out for him, and if you run his name it will surely come up, and we can at least get him off the streets for a while.

    Of course, he said he wasn\’t going to do that. He did ask for my proof of payment though before I left.

    So he let him go, and I rode the rest of the way up to Killingsworth, mad as hell!

    The Coup De Grace:

    The next week or so, on the evening news, a police sketch of the EXACT SAME MAN was displayed, with information that he was on trains and buses and streets in the area grabbing and harassing ladies and children, I believe is what they said.

    I could not even believe what I was seeing…..

    I am still so mad about it I could just shit myself… (pardon my language) I really would have gone entirely against my own rules and just beaten the crap out of him when I had my chance.

    I am sure happy that he did take the time to make sure a cyclist had paid his fare though….. It appears that cyclists may even be classified lower in Tri Met regulations than sex offenders…

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  • huss June 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    They need a small car between the two main cars to hold bikes, and maybe people with dogs also? Or strollers with kids etc.

    Room for everone…..Peace

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  • huss June 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    They need a small car between the two main cars to hold bikes, and maybe people with dogs also? Or strollers with kids etc.

    Room for everone…..Peace

    Just a plain cargo car 15-20 feet.

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  • JP June 30, 2008 at 8:51 am

    #46, why do we need to know he was black?

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  • come on now.... June 30, 2008 at 10:09 am

    So… the train is packed and there is no room for your large and unwieldy machine inside. Instead of complaining about how those strollers and wheelchairs take up so much precious space, why not just ride your bike to the destination? If bikes are the answer, why do you need to carry it on the train? And a special train car just for bikes? I\’d like one for motorcycles and compact autos too. Bunch of sissy primadonnas… ride more and complain less!

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  • SkidMark June 30, 2008 at 10:53 am

    #49, it\’s part of his physical description. For instance, he could have been white, like most sex offenders in the Portland area seem to be. But he\’s not, he\’s black.

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  • wsbob June 30, 2008 at 11:22 am

    re; comment #46: Seems like an incredible lapse of sound judgment on the part of the fare inspector. Icarus, despite your frustration, I hope you reported the incident to Tri-met to try and get them to look at the situation.

    I don\’t see the problem for the fare inspector here(except that he should probably be put on suspension for not doing what he likely should have). They may not be police officers themselves, but they can sure easily enough call them up on their radios. He should have done that, kept everyone around, let the cops arrive and had them sort everything out.

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  • Icarus Falling June 30, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    J.P.,

    I guess I failed the community in just stating that he was a black man.

    The responsible thing to do, along with stating that the color of his skin, would be to have written a full description, along with adding a photo!

    It had to do with watching out for others. If he was striped, I would have written that.

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  • Racer X June 30, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    OK OK enough…

    How about MAX running double decker trams like Hong Kong…no short block problems..just a few overpasses to fix. (Bikes lower level with wheel chairs and prams…and peds up top).

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  • Icarus falling July 1, 2008 at 10:06 am

    So Racer X,

    It is better for you to bring up a totally implausible idea, that is incompatible with our current system, than to talk about an actual problem with the system we have, that is easily fixable?

    Just a few overpasses is millions of dollars by the way…

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  • alex July 1, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    \”ride more, complain less\”…jeez, thank whomever that you have the commute you do. after driving the grind from NE portland to hillsboro everyday for two years, one hour each way, i chose to instead *increase* my commute 45 minutes each way by instead riding downtown, taking the max to hillsboro and riding the three remaining miles to my job at intel, all without the free trimet pass they give to employees, cause i\’m a contractor. this whole \”putting your bike on the max is a luxury\” idea paints the picture that all of us just use the max as a hop between a couple stops when for some of us it is an absolute necessity if we want to save the car wear and expense ($4 a day for PT, $10 for gas). should i really be forced to spend $200 a month on gas when i could spend $80? i ain\’t one of them high priced engineers.

    it is my understanding from reading the news on this website that the official policy of trimet is that if a ped. doesn\’t want to move from the hook, they don\’t have to. this is nuts. we\’re people too. if there\’s four spots, we should be guaranteed them. if the car is packed and i can\’t get my bike on, fine, i can deal. but those four spaces are absolute gold to me and i feel they are my right.

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  • Eileen July 1, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    It still seems to me the solution is more trains/cars (are they called cars on max?). If they are overcrowded to the point that people have to be kicked off, I\’d say they need more of them to meet the demand. And, just guessing, but I imagine that would be cheaper than a total re-design on all the existing trains.

    {{Some time lapsed from when I originally started this, I went back and read some of the comments I had skimmed and noticed that Matthew Denton mentioned that \”95% of the time, (and indeed in this case,) the train behind it is mostly empty\”. Could it be that there are enough trains, but not enough patient people?}}

    Now, and please don\’t hate me for saying this, doesn\’t it seem fair that if bicycles take up more space on the train, maybe they should have to pay more? Boo hiss. But I think it\’s true. Wouldn\’t you be willing to pay more (or buy a pass) that would guarantee you being able to bring your bike on the train? And if you paid for the bike ticket/pass, tri-met would have to honor it and would thereby be forced to actually solve this problem instead of just saying \”too bad, so sad\” as they are doing now. Plus, this would help generate the revenue to fund a solution, kind of like toll-bridges. What would tri-met say if a group of cyclists organized and asked to pay more?

    I know some of you are going to whine about this because you are overly idealistic and think that the royal carpet should be laid out for cyclists for single-handedly saving us from destruction. Go ahead and whine, it serves a beautiful purpose and you are raising awareness. Good for you. But, we still need a solution and to me, that is the most realistic one.

    And Racer X – buying all new trains, completely re-doing overpasses, and there is the small matter of that huge tunnel under Washington Park. It\’s a lovely idea, but maybe not the most cost-effective.

    As for strollers. Let me point out that those are devices for people who can\’t walk themselves! Well, sometimes they are for people whose tiny little legs get tired very quickly. If you are seeing five year olds in strollers, that\’s one thing, but basically, very young children are disabled, or not-yet abled and so complaining about them is like complaining about somebody\’s wheelchair being in your way.

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  • beth h July 3, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Some thoughts:

    1. Longer trains will be harder to run in Portland than in other cities — especially downtown and especially with the advent of the new Green Line.
    Our bridges may be too old to support the additional weight of extra cars, and our city blocks are half as long as they are elsewhere meaning the corners could be too tight.

    2. Racial tensions are a true and real part of life on and off the trains in N/NE Portland, and it would behoove us all to stop denying that and address it head-on. Even if it means that we hear things we\’d rather not hear (about gentrification, racial privilege and economic disparity).

    2a. Low-income/at-risk youth who are out of school and have NO job, community service activity or other positive way to channel their energy will be bored and frustrated, and more likely to get into trouble. Unless we address that as a society we\’ll see more behavior problems with this segment of the population, and more people getting harassed on transit in low-income neighborhoods.

    3. Pedestrians should take precedence over bicycle riders on transit for obvious reasons. That said, TriMet and the city need to come up with creative ways to handle the increase in multi-modal transportation demand as bikes grow in popularity in Portland.

    4. Bicycle riders should go to another city in the US and realize just how good we have it here. Not to say that we should stop fighting for change, but just that we should stop acting like we\’re some privileged class of people because we choose to ride bikes everywhere. We\’re not superior, just a little more far-thinking, that\’s all.

    Accept the risks inherent in riding a bike in a car-dedicated landscape, or don\’t. But don\’t get all petulant when things don\’t go your way. Life is just like that sometimes; stop whining about it and be a grownup.

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  • Jeff J July 8, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Looks like this is happening again. I was on a blue line train this morning at 7:30 when we came in to the Sunset TC station. The fare inspectors removed all bikes except for the ones on hooks. I approached the fare inspector to ask why he was having all the non-hooked bikes taken off the train and he flaunted a rules pamphlet in my face. Unfortunately I didn\’t take the pamphlet to read since I was so mad.

    There was plenty of space available in the senior/wheelchair areas where bikers could have stood. It appears there is an inconsistency in what TriMet\’s policy is and what policy the fare inspectors are enforcing.

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  • Rob July 8, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    On the rush hour Blue Line MAX from Quatama to downtown, all hooks were taken on the low-floor car – so I sat with my bike in the priority seating area.

    At PGE Park, the fare inspector asked me to move and stand with my bike in the aisle by the doorway near the hooks. According to TriMet\’s own website, this is not allowed.

    I stood my ground and told him that I was allowed to sit where I was, based on TriMet\’s rules (I would have immediately moved for a senior or disabled person, by the way). I was respectful, but firm.

    He didn\’t bother to challenge me on my assertion, and I got off at the next stop without incident.

    I\’m not bothered by TriMet enforcing their own rules for riding the MAX, but they need to make sure all their inspectors know exactly what the rules are, and that the enforcement is being fair to all riders. In this case, the inspector didn\’t know what the rules were, and I\’m sure he was surprised when I called him on it.

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  • Rick July 16, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    #35 – I just started using the Max with my Bike. The trip actually takes me longer then if I took my car. I\’m also not one of the \”oh my god the car is too expensive to drive,\” group. I can easily afford the increased gas prices. Rather I\’m trying to help the environment here by reducing my dependence on the car. If I could ride public transportation the whole way, I would do so. But the bus does not physically go within two miles of my work, except twice a day at highly inconvenient times. Two miles of walking is 45 minutes vs 15 minutes of bike riding. So if I was to walk, my nice easy 20-25 minute commute expands to almost two hours each way. (Extra time wasted waiting for the train.)

    That being said, I would gladly pay extra to be able to take my bike on the Max – it takes up more space, it\’s only fair. But the hook thing needs to be fixed. I\’d even be willing to wait for the next train if it had the extra room.

    I\’ve yet to experience any one getting kicked off, but I can see it happening. There are about a dozen bikes on the train, even when I\’m commuting outside of regular commuter hours. I\’ve also yet to see the \”the back train is empty\” scenario. In my experience they\’ve all been full.

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