METRO Reconfigures Trains for Bikes
Monday, August 16, 2010 5:29 PM
If you rode the train today, you may have hopped on one of the 11 cars that was modified over the weekend to accommodate bicycles.
Four seats (two benches) were removed on the "A" end of the car and four seats on the "B" end - for a total of eight seats. Hanging straps were also added in that area.
This configuration was chosen after collaboration with BikeHouston last Saturday, and is part of the new METRO's effort to make its system even more accessible to bikers. The group brought bikes on-board to see what storage and movement would be like and unanimously chose the configuration METRO proceeded with.
This is a 30-day trial to see how both bikers and non-biking commuters like it.
"If everybody is happy with it after the 30-day trial, we'll modify the remaining seven vehicles," said Scott Grogan, senior director of rail maintenance/operations. "I was on the train today, and there were two strollers in the modified section. Then a bicycle and a wheelchair came on-board, all on one half of the car. And there was still room to maneuver."
The only expense to METRO was the cost of adding hand straps. To convert METRO's entire fleet would cost $4,300 - but we would also be able to use the 144 removed seats as spares - thus, saving the agency money.
"I think everybody's going to love it," said Grogan. "It opens up more space for more standees, and it helps accessible issues on the vehicle with bike strollers and wheelchairs."