North shore increases bicycle capacity on select buses
TAHOE CITY, Calif. – Responding to community concerns, Placer County transportation officials have increased the capacity for bicycle racks on Tahoe Area Regional Transit buses.
Officials have installed three-bike racks on seven of TART’s 102-inch-wide buses, increasing overall capacity by 33 percent – six extra bikes, said Placer County’s Senior Transportation Supervisor Tony Middleton, at a recent meeting of the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association.
Middleton said the fleet’s five 96-inch-wide buses must carry racks capable of accommodating just two bicycles, due to limitations mandated by law and the vehicle manufacturers.
“This was done as a response to some community members expressing concerns about bikers being turned away,” said Will Garner, Placer County Transit manager.
In October 2010, Joe Baty, a Truckee resident who works in Tahoe City, told transportation officials he and other cyclists who attempt to cut down on the use of private automobiles by using their bicycle and the bus system as a primary means of transportation were being turned away as a result of racks being full.
Garner said there is a strict policy forbidding passengers from bringing bicycles on the bus.
“I’m sorry people are turned away, but I am glad to see drivers are adhering to the policy,” he said during the October meeting of the TMA. “Not everyone is responsible with their bikes on the bus. We’ve seen dangerous incidents where bicycles hit other passengers and we’ve received complaints.”
During the May meeting, TMA board members asked Garner about the possibility of installing racks on the back of buses – the racks are currently located on the front, and space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Garner said the racks must be on the front of the bus so the driver can safely monitor the loading and unloading of the bicycles.
Garner said he is hopeful the increase will serve as a solution to the problem.