Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 23rd, 2007 at 9:13 am
his new job than he did with
these barricades at a Cross
Crusade event last year.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)
TriMet is in the process of taking a long, hard look at how bikes mix with their transit services. They’ve recently launched a major survey effort and they’re feeling the pressure of an increased presence of bikes on their MAX trains and buses.
To help with find solutions and analyze the situation, they’ve recently hired a Bike Programs Intern. His name is Colin Maher.
To find out more about him, and TriMet’s thinking on bikes, check out the brief interview below…
[BikePortland] – What was your background before getting hired by TriMet?
[Colin] – I came to this internship through graduate studies in Urban and Regional Planning at PSU. Before returning to grad school, I served as the Non-motorized Trail Coordinator for the Moab, Utah area. I was also a bike messenger in DC for a few years and have worked at a couple of great bike shops (including River City Bicycles locally).
[BikePortland] – What are some of your responsibilities as Bike Programs Intern?
[Colin] – One of my primary responsibilities is administering and analyzing the results of the Bike-MAX survey. I am also working on improve bike facilities for TriMet employees, as well as reviewing policy covering Lost & Found bikes.
[BikePortland] – Does TriMet have some new bike programs in the works that you can share a little bit about?
[Colin] – At the moment, studying characteristics of bike-MAX travel is the main focus. TriMet needs a clear picture of current bike-MAX ridership before developing options for future facilities. TriMet policy that allows bicycles on MAX at all hours of operation in every direction is exceptional for a light-rail system of its size, extent and ridership.
I realize that the survey has caused some concern about a rush hour ban on bikes. I would like to emphasize that this option is NOT under discussion. We recognize that many riders need their bike at both ends of their trip. We are conducting this survey to find out where and when different types of bike-MAX trips occur.
[BikePortland] – Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
[Colin] – Another point that I would like to address is that there is no magic wand for connecting bikes to light rail transit. Bike-MAX customers have different needs and there is no one option that makes this connection possible for everyone. Bike parking is one of those options, and countries where cycling is an integral part of the lifestyle have extensive facilities at transit stations. There is also demand in the Portland area, indicated by the fact that there are waiting lists for BTA-administered bike lockers.
I realize that I am editorializing a bit, but finding ways to integrate bikes on a light rail system with growing demand is a great “problem” to have when reducing roadway congestion, pollution, and related health problems are among your goals. I’m glad to have the opportunity to conduct a study that assists this effort.
Good luck with your task Colin, and keep us posted on the survey results. For more on TriMet, view my TriMet coverage archives.