Press Release from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas
July 14, 2010
As part of its transition to a new METRO, the agency is working with BikeHouston to develop additional ways to make public transportation a viable option when biking around Houston.
The regional transportation authority is working with the bicycle advocacy group to get the word out about expanded hours for bicycles boarded on METRORail and the need for safety as the new policy takes effect.
Starting Monday July 19th, 2010, bike riders can board light-rail vehicles Monday-Friday except for peak hours (6:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.) when passenger loads are heaviest and boarding with a bike most difficult. Bikes are limited to two per rail car including weekends at all service hours.
“Our partnership with BikeHouston represents the kind of collaboration the community will see from the new METRO,” said Acting President & CEO George Greanias. “Biking and METRO are important alternatives to driving and are natural complements, reducing both traffic and helping clean our air. With these expanded hours we can accommodate riders during our busiest light-rail hours, and make more room on the system for those whose commute includes bicycles.”
Bikes, until now, were allowed on trains from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. until the last evening run.
Working with the biking community, METRO launched a highly successful bike rack program on buses in 2007. Today, most METRO buses are equipped with either bike racks or storage compartments, and total bikes boarded since the launch have topped 156,000.
BikeHouston and METRO are examining other ways to make Houston transit more bike friendly with collaboration on placement of bike racks along light-rail boarding platforms and utilization of interior space on rail cars as more miles are added to local light-rail systems.
Peter Wang, League Cycling Instructor and advisor to BikeHouston noted, “Bicycling advocates welcome the expansion of bikes-on-board hours to accommodate both "Early Bird" and "Late Sleeper" commuters. We urge bicyclist commuters to be mindful of the needs of fellow passengers. Walk (don't ride) your bike on train platforms and sidewalks. Stay out of people's way, don't cram into a crowded rail car, and keep your bike clean."
METRO is working with the City of Houston to improve residents’ ability to get around and exercise at the same time. The new Irvington Bike Lanes, will give bikers a safe trail near the North Line light rail which is now under construction. METRORail bike guidelines and Houston Bikeways Program can help you understand how to get around Houston fast, safe and economically.