September 24, 2017
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How To Use the Bus Bike Rack in 10 Steps

Last Thursday, September 12 was the sixth annual Light the Night bike light distribution event. This year, MTD tried something different. We were inspired by Connect Transit (photos) and their participation in Uptown Normal‘s first-ever Light the Night.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "bus bike rack" "Light the Night"

The bike rack demonstrations were in high demand at Light the Night on September 12, 2013.

Connect Transit made a bus and bike rack available for cyclists to practice loading and unloading. So, we did too!

We parked a 30-foot hybrid on Illinois Street, adjacent to the bike light install location near the Hallene Gateway. Cyclists saw our large sign and rolled over in a steady stream.

Numerous cyclists confessed never using the bike racks. They worried they wouldn’t be able to figure it out and would end up delaying service. We assured them that the use of the bike racks is a part of our service!

After watching over 50 cyclists learn how to use the bike rack by mostly reading the instructions (with a few pointers from MTD staff), we can confidently declare that it is indeed easier than it looks and totally doable.

Jane Sullivan, MTD’s Sustainability and Transportation Planner, helped cyclists navigate the bike rack. “The ability to connect public transit and cycling trips is an element of MTD service that is particularly valuable. The more people who are comfortable and confident in using the MTD bike racks, the more people benefit from that value!”

If you missed Light the Night, and the summer public outreach events (where we also offer bike rack demonstrations!), here’s a step-by-step guide taken from page 11 of our 2013-2014 Maps & Schedules Book.

Getting Ready

Before the bus arrives, remove anything that may fall off. If the bike rack is full (the two slots are occupied), please wait for the next available bus. Do not attempt to bring your bike inside the bus, unless it is a folding bike (instructions at bottom).

For safety and security reasons, the operator cannot leave the bus to assist with the loading and unloading of bicycles. But it’s OK because you can do this!

Getting On

For your safety, load from the curb side. Avoid approaching the bus from the street side when loading your bike because of surrounding traffic. Make eye contact with the operator so he/she knows you’re stepping in front of the bus to use the rack.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "bus bike rack"

Step 1: Squeeze the handle and lower.

1. Lower the carrier rack with one hand while holding your bike with the other hand. Grasp the handle, squeeze, and pull forward until the rack is completely lowered.

2. After lowering the rack, lift your bike into the wheel well. If yours is the first bike, put it in the position nearest the bus, handlebars toward the curb. If yours is the second bike, your handlebars will point toward the street.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "bus bike rack"

Step 3: Swing the support arm up and over.

3. Swing the arm up and over the front tire of the bike. Bring it as close as possible to the frame of your bike. A strong spring pulls the arm down onto the tire and holds the bike securely.

4. After securing the locking arm over the tire, board the bus and sit as close to the front as possible, to keep your bike in view.

Getting Off

5. Exit the front door and let the operator know you will be removing your bike from the rack.

6. Always unload your bike from the curb side to keep out of harm’s way.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "bus bike rack"

Step 7: Raise the support arm up, over, and off the tire.

7. Raise the support arm up, over, and off the tire.

8. Lift your bike out of the rack.

9. Squeeze the handle and lift to return the rack to its upright position.

10. Finally, move quickly away from the bus to the curb and let the operator know it is safe to leave. A friendly wave or a head nod will do just fine.

For University of Illinois students who are not in the area during the summer, what other events can we bring an MTD vehicle to offer bike rack demonstrations? Send us an invite!

See more pictures from the event on our Flickr page.

Folding Bikes

A folding bicycle has a frame that folds and two wheels that come together. You must fold the bicycle prior to boarding and make certain it does not block the aisle or doors. Finally, cyclists are responsible for their own bicycle and all actions, injuries, losses, and/or damages related to their bicycle on MTD vehicles.

About Amy Snyder

Amy Snyder is the Customer Service Manager at the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. She writes and manages content for this blog, The Inside Lane, as well as the social media pages for CUMTD.
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Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
1101 East University Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802-2009
(217) 384-8188
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