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Bike Rack Use on MAX Buses Triples Since 2007 | Environment

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Bike Rack Use on MAX Buses Triples Since 2007
Bike Rack Use on MAX Buses Triples Since 2007

The popularity of combining bike riding with bus riding has exploded in the last five years on the Macatawa Area Express (MAX), prompting the Holland transit system to invest in larger racks that can hold three bikes instead of two.

MAX initially invested in two-position bike racks for all buses in its fleet in 2007 and, since that time, seasonal use of the racks has more than tripled. Bike use on the buses begins to increase in March with about 300 per month, and then spikes in June with MAX transporting up to 1,350 bikes during the month.  Use declines again in late fall through February.

“I recall before we purchased bike racks that we actually had a discussion about whether people would even use the bike racks if we installed them,” said Linda LeFebre, MAX director.  “Now, biking and riding the bus are so popular for getting get around town that our two-position bike racks are often full so that others aren’t able to board and take their bikes with them.  The new racks will increase our capability.”

MAX purchased three-position “trilogy” bike racks from Sportworks of Woodinville, Wash., for $1,332 each in June, which were installed in June on four of the low floor buses assigned to the fixed bus routes.  The larger racks were purchased to accommodate the growing trend of passengers biking and riding to their destinations along the lakeshore.   

Most urban transit systems invest in bike racks because they encourage multimodal trips and ridership, contribute to cleaner air and more livable communities, and improve bike access to overcome geographical barriers like bridges, tunnels or unsafe city streets.

To accommodate bicyclists riding the bus, MAX provides bike racks at its transfer center at the Padnos Center so that passengers can leave and lock their bikes if not needed for a leg of their trip.

Ridership on the MAX also has grown dramatically in the past five years from 221,224 in 2007 to a projected 450,000 for 2012.

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