Yesterday, with notable transportation officials from around the region in attendance, TriMet officially cut the ribbon on their new ‘Bike & Ride’ facility at the Sunset Transit Center in Beaverton. With secure parking for 74 bikes, TriMet hopes the new service will make it easier for people to make the bike-transit connection.
In a statement about the opening, TriMet’s new General Manager Neil McFarlane said, “We chose Sunset Transit Center for our first Bike & Ride because it’s one of the most popular destinations for cyclists to connect to transit, since the West Hills are a barrier to riding a bike into downtown.”
The 74 bike racks are in a space previously occupied by just eight car parking spaces (630 car spaces remain at the site). TriMet has made the facility secure by adding surveillance cameras and by requiring the use of a BikeLink keycard to gain access. Keycards cost $20 and last for about 10 weeks of daily parking at any TriMet Bike & Ride.
Since TriMet doesn’t charge to park cars at this transit center, you might wonder why bike parking comes with a fee. TriMet’s bike planner Colin Maher says it’s not about making money. Rather, there’s a practical reason: To discourage people from using the Bike & Ride as their personal garage or storage unit. “Experience has shown that bike stations fill with unused bikes if parking is completely free. This isn’t a problem for car parking, partly because the owners would incur hefty towing and impound fees (which aren’t practical to charge for bikes) if their cars were left for more than 24 hours.”
Maher points out that if you don’t want to pay for bike parking, you can use the standard bike racks that are also available.
Do you plan on using this new Bike & Ride? Have you already used it? We’d love to hear how it’s working for you. For more information on TriMet’s Bike & Rides, and to purchase a BikeLink card, check out their new website at TriMet.org/bikeandride.