Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bikes on BARTA?

Here is a suggestion for a countywide bicycling issue - Bike Racks on Buses. A few years ago PENNDOT asked transit agencies why they did not install bike racks on buses, the most common response was that no one has asked for them. This should not be a hard sell since the majority of surrounding agencies have them (SEPTA in the Phila Metro Area, Red Rose Transit in Lancaster County, LANTA in the Lehigh Valley and Rabbit Transit in York County).

Bike Racks on buses can be paid for with Transit Enhancements, BARTA in the past has used Transit Enhancements to pay for upgraded bus signs. And it has been proven locally that bike racks do have a positive impact on ridership. In 2003 LANTA reported 90 boardings per day or about 2000 trips a month.

Ray Scheinfeld

You may have seen this article last month in the Reading Eagle with BARTA claiming that ridership is flat despite high gas prices. Not surprising since there is little cost difference for the short commutes that are possible on BARTA, but it is a common theme for the mainstream press. There are other transit issues of course such as BARTA not responding to the explosive growth in the SE part of the county (connecting to SEPTA in Pottstown or running express buses to King of Prussia should be at least on the table).

The bottom line is that it's in BARTA's best interest to forge a good relationship with WalkBikeBerks since quality of service greatly depends on the ability of passengers to walk or bike to their origin and destination.

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