What’s up with new signs on MAX near bike hooks?

Bikes on TriMet MAX-4.jpg
The old sign only mentioned bikes…
(Photo © J. Maus)
Now it adds strollers and luggage.
(Photo: Mitch L.)

Reader Mitch L. recently sent in a photo of a new sign TriMet has installed near the bike hooks on MAX trains (above, right).

The old signs read, “Hang bike here – Allow cyclists to access hook.” The new signs have dropped all the text and now have three symbols: a bike, a stroller, and a suitcase.

Mitch says he takes the Blue Line to Beaverton with his bike and wonders if the new signs mean he must now share the space with others. “The concern is that during rush hour/peak travel times, there is already no space for all the bikes that need a ride,” he wrote.

It can get crowded on MAX.

To find out more, I asked TriMet’s bike issue go-to guy Colin Maher.

Maher reassured us that TriMet’s bikes on MAX policies have not changed. The new signs, he says, are being installed in response to feedback from riders. “That bike-specific signage made MAX welcoming for bikes, but the wording of the sign coupled with the lack of signage for strollers and luggage made trains less welcoming for others.”

TriMet took the issue to their stakeholders (including the BTA, their own Committee on Accessible Transportation, and others) and decided that a change in signage was appropriate, “since passengers are allowed to use the area under the bike hooks for their luggage or stroller, as well as standing or hanging their bike.”

Maher also notes that while passengers are allowed to put bikes (and luggage and strollers) in the priority seating area, that area is reserved for seniors and riders with disabilities.

While Maher maintains that this new sign doesn’t signal a policy change, the practical impact is obvious. TriMet has gone from telling passengers to expect (and make room for) bikes in a specific area, to de-prioritizing them. This subtle shift is part of a larger trend at TriMet to encourage people to ‘park and ride’ and to not bring bicycles on board.

As we reported in 2008, TriMet realizes there’s simply “not enough room” on trains and buses for bikes and they are struggling to meet the demand.

Learn more about TriMet’s bikes on MAX policies here.

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