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TriMet clarifies how to load bikes on MAX

Posted by on November 21st, 2008 at 12:44 pm

As a follow-up to our story back in July about the new “Hang Bike Here” stickers on TriMet MAX trains, the transit agency sent out an alert today with additional information about how to load your bike on MAX.

Here are their three main rules:

1. Check to see if there’s room.
As MAX approaches, scan the train to see if there’s room on board. If it’s too crowded to board safely, you’ll need to wait for the next train.
2. Let other riders board first.
Wait for other riders to exit and enter the train before you board.

3. Board through the door with the bike symbol.

And here’s one of their “important reminders”:

“Bikes are allowed on MAX only if there is room, so if all bike spaces are full or the train is too crowded to board safely, you must wait for the next train. Consider taking your trip before or after rush hour, parking your bike at the station or using a compact folding bike instead.”

Learn more at TriMet.org.

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  • E November 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    My sister was on the always-overcrowded Yellow Line last week, and had this experience:
    “… remember when we saw the guy with the hook he brought in to hold up his bike on the train? Well last night on the train, there were too many bikes (which was crazy cos there were tons of empty seats, very sucky) and a Trimet official came to mildly chastise us, and he actually *recommended* that we get those hooks!”
    I’m baffled as I thought they were actually illegal. But if they’re not, does anyone know where to get them? 😀

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  • DM November 21, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I heard about that dude with the hook last night… and I was told he made it himself. Great idea, especially on the yellow line!

    Honestly though, I’m sort of annoyed with Tri-Met and how they underestimate the amount of riders on the yellow line. Usually there is one car, running several minutes late *and* it is packed… As a paying customer, I don’t think it’s fair that they tell cyclists they have to wait for the next max.
    Several bus lines are just as bad–one night I had to wait through 5 passing #75 buses (1 hour & 15 minutes!!)because the racks were all full!

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  • cupcake November 22, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    compact folding bike……….
    never thought of that

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  • bobcycle November 23, 2008 at 8:10 am

    “Consider taking your trip before or after rush hour”

    Does this imply that bicyclists on MAX don’t need to be anywhere on time (work) so take MAX when its not crowded? Or just that using the MAX/bike combo is a bad idea if you are heading to work (isn’t that what makes it “RUSH” hour)? Perhaps TriMet needs to consider options that maximize bike RUSH hour use. How about a BIKE ONLY car, i.e. you must have a bike to be in this car?

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  • todd b November 23, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Actually there used to be ‘full service’ on the Yellow Line when it started but Trimet pulled capacity off of it and shifted that second car to the Red Line (from what I heard from a Trimet source back then). It made sense then but no longer.

    Assuming you have the tacit permission of the bike owner next to you to ‘duplex hook’ then you can also use a new leather toe clip strap (I have tried this and it works to loop it over the rail twice) or try a cool ‘S hook with guard’ (for storing cords, wheels, etc.) I saw for sale at REI PDX this week in the bike section ($10). It is a bit long…perhaps this local company can make one hook end shorter?

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  • todd b November 23, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Also…the folding bike option is a real option for the crowded Blue Red lines…especially if you use a Brompton or small wheeled Dahon or strida, etc. But most compact folding bikes are very expensive compared to a regular bike…it would be more effective if Trimet initiated a group purchase option or discount for annual or monthly pass holders. Perhaps modeled on similar programmes in the UK by employers.

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  • compassionate islander November 24, 2008 at 9:44 am

    north portland has always experienced the poorest of service levels from Tri-met. I know that, in the past, I’ve railed about how the poor and residents ‘of color’ in NoPo are terrorized by police and other public figures alike, but I have no lived in the area for ages and don’t know if things have changed now that gentrification has (once again) scattered longtime residents to the winds.

    When I DID live there, the # 4 bus was always overcrowded. I recall the feeling of being on a cattle car. One driver held us “hostage” by saying that he would not drive past a stop on Williams and Fremont unless we gave up the passenger who made a comment about how the driver didn’t give enough time for people to get to the door and get off the bus safely. He yelled at us and sat there — finally, the rider got off because he was so intimidated by the reaction to his flip but harmless comment.

    I also recall thinking how nice and roomy some of the other buses were, or how empty they were when the # 4 was a shorter bus and always packed beyond capacity.

    Likewise, even tho it is always busy the yellow line is shorter than other trains, no matter what time of day it is.

    Reminds me of the best bus boycott ever, back in the day, oh, let’s say back in the 60’s, when a tired lady refused to get up and move after paying her fare. Yeah. that’s right. I went there. =)

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  • robert November 25, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Folding bikes suck.

    Unless you’re into that sort a thing… no offense 😉

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  • robert November 25, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Really, I mean, like, folding bikes aren’t made for cycling. They’re made the way they are for reasons other than cycling…

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  • robert November 25, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I moved to Portland in 2001 (from Arizona) and chose St. Johns because it felt good and it had the #16, a rush hour express… I was pretty pissed when they got rid of it and just told us to take the 40. We almost always filled the 16.

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  • zilfondel November 25, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Jonathan, can you bold “compact folding bike” in your post? This is an excellent way of being able to get your bike on the bus/MAX/amtrak/airline no questions asked.

    Bike Friday of Eugene makes some excellent folding bikes, and would highly recommend them:


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