Looking for ways to add capacity for riders that like to bus and bike, TriMet officials say they’re currently testing racks that would hold three bikes (current racks have room for two bikes).
However, according to TriMet stategic planner Eric Hesse, initial testing has given them reason to pause. He says they have evaluated two different models and that “unfortunately, neither yet meet our needs.”
Hesse says the major challenge is that the wider and deeper three-bike racks significantly reduce the turning clearance, or what he calls the “dynamic envelope” of the buses. “The amount of this change is much greater than we can safely incorporate on a number of our routes.”
used by Metro Transit in Seattle.
Hesse also pointed out other safety concerns, like headlights and turn signals being blocked, and in some cases, bikes have fallen off the rack (both while the bus was in operation and when bikes are removed by riders).
That situation has caused them to add an additional safety strap and in some cases, the three-bike racks are being removed until the design can be improved.
Both King County Metro and TriMet are working with Seattle-based rack manufacturer Sportworks to improve the design.
On that note, Hesse says, “Hopefully we can fix these design and functional challenges since we are interested in expanding our bus bike rack capacity.”