Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Startran Bike Racks

So the Lincoln city buses installed bike racks on most (and eventually all) of their buses. I was able to test them out and load a bike at UNL's bike event yesterday and today I had the opportunity to use it as part of my daily commute. I rode to work this morning, but the afternoon was pretty rainy and today was one of the days that I had to wear a suit.

When the rain didn't clear by 5:00, I decided to give this a try. Since 100% of the buses don't have the racks installed, there was a slim chance that I would be doing some waiting if the next bus wasn't equipped. Not to worry though, my bus was ready for me. During the last few days, I've noticed that most of the buses actually do have the racks installed and I've actually only seen one or two without them. I'm told that these buses without racks will be decommissioned by the end of the month anyway.

A video demonstration of the racks is included below, and using the racks is every bit as easy as it looks. They are lightweight, so lowering and lifting the rack isn't a problem. The arm that hooks onto the tire looks something like a rubber band in the video, but it's actually a metal, spring-loaded arm that's much sturdier than it looks. Going over bumps and around corners isn't an issue as my bike wobbled only slightly on the way home and never moved out the tire wells. Those that have balked at the cost should know that these racks appear to be well crafted.

The driver was really courteous and friendly about the whole experience. He said that he has only had three users so far, but the weather has been fairly nice this week. With a bit more publicity and if gas prices keep going up (yeesh), they'll likely be used more.

For someone like me who really dislikes driving, the city has added a really attractive commuting option should the weather discourage biking in the morning or afternoon. I will definitely use this again.

Information on the city's page.
Information on the Cycle Works blog.

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