November 10, 2011

Metrolink launches 'bike cars' to transport cyclists

Commuters can now grab their bikes and get on board a train as Southern California's Metrolink rolls out bike cars throughout the 512-mile network.

As cycling's popularity as a commuting option continues to grow, Metrolink is introducing bike cars into weekday service on 34 trains to provide for additional bike storage. Cyclists gathered in Orange County for the inaugural ride.

"This region has a reputation of being very dependent on our cars. With innovations like the bike cars, Metrolink is working to make it easier for Southern Californians to leave their cars at home," said Metrolink CEO John Fenton.

Metrolink introduced two bicycle cars as a pilot program this summer on the Inland-Empire line weekend beach trains and helped transport more than 250 cyclists to CicLAvia, a special event where a stretch of Los Angeles streets were car-free for five hours allowing people to bike, walk and skate freely. Since then, the cars have been tested on trains throughout the five-county area. More cars will be added in the future based on demand.

To create the new bicycle cars, Metrolink crews removed 29 passenger seats on the bottom level of one of its railcars that traditionally seats up to 149 people.

Each car is designed to accommodate up to 18 bicycles. Metrolink standard passenger cars only have space for two bikes. Bicycle cars will be fully wrapped in the bike emblem or can be identified by yellow decals located on the outside of the railcar.

Answer our Web Poll: Which of the following accommodations does your transit system offer to bikers? Click here, to tell us your response.

-Bike cars
-Bike racks
-Bike lockers

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