January 7, 2009

N.Y. MTA testing bicycle hooks on select trains

MTA Metro-North Railroad, in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Transportation, has installed prototype bicycle mounting devices on a pair of M-7 train cars as part of the railroad's ongoing efforts to review and improve bicycle transportation on the railroad.

The railroad is seeking feedback from the cycling community on the hooks – their ease of use, placement, etc. Metro-North has established an e-mail address to which people can send comments about the bike mount: surveys@mnr.org. The intent is to increase safety, convenience and sustainable mobility for all customers.

If the pilot is successful, Metro-North will determine next steps on the M-8s with ConnDOT and the M-7s with Long Island Rail Road, which make up a large portion of its fleet.

The hooks are located in the area designated for wheelchairs, which will continue to have first priority in this space. Prominent signs will specify that cyclists must remove bicycles if the area is needed for a customer in a wheelchair. Feedback on the proposal is also being sought from wheelchair users.

The railroad recently amended its bicycle policy to allow cyclists to bring folding bikes aboard all trains, including peak trains, without a permit, because when folded, they are treated as regular luggage.

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