Reminder: People with bikes ride buses free all week

Screenshot from KC Metro video (posted below)

From now through Friday, you can ride any King County Metro-operated bus for free. All you need is a bicycle.

Here are the details, from Metro:

As part of Bike Month, King County Metro and Sound Transit are encouraging people to try bike-and-bus trips. During the week of May 14-18, any cyclist loading a bike on a Metro bus or ST Express bus operated by Metro will ride free. ST Express routes included are: 540, 542, 545, 550, 554, 555, 556 and 560.

Each bus has three spaces on its bike rack, which are available on a first come/first served basis. If the bus bike rack is full, cyclists should be prepared to wait for the next bus or consider leaving their bike parked in a bike rack at a transit facility. Bike lockers are also available at many Metro and Sound Transit facilities.

This offer is good only on the buses mentioned above. It does not apply to Link light rail, Sounder, the South Lake Union Streetcar, or the King County Water Taxi.

For new cyclists who want to try loading their bike in a pressure-free environment, Metro has display bike racks at five locations around the county. They are available at North Seattle Community College, the University of Washington, Bellevue College, Alki Bike and Board in West Seattle, and at the offices of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington in Pioneer Square. Detailed information on hours and locations can be found online.

Are you intimidated by putting your bike on a bus? I know I was the first time I tried it. Here’s a video that demonstrates how to do it (h/t Biking Bis):

Since today was the first day of free rides for folks with bikes, how do you all think it went?

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8 Responses to Reminder: People with bikes ride buses free all week

  1. Jeff Dubrule says:

    No difference for me, so far… Was one of 2 people at Montlake, and we both loaded onto a East Base-bound Sound Transit bus.

  2. Andrew Squirrel says:

    If KCMetro is actually reading this, you really really really need to notify your drivers of this change. Every single cyclist I have talked to this morning has had issues with the driver knowing NOTHING about this. I didn’t really feel like arguing with the driver about it so I paid. Hopefully if enough people mention it like I did the driver will call back to base to ask if this is really happening. Meh, Metro should probably just drop this campaign, it’s likely causing more headaches for everyone involved.

    • Forrest says:

      Tuesday, & they still don’t know what’s up: “That’s on the Express buses, I think.” Is it? The wording is awkward.

  3. Devin says:

    I loaded onto 550 today and getting off, the driver said nothing as I paid. No biggie for me, as I have a business pass, but for others it might be nice. Ya know?

  4. Gary says:

    Those support arms trash my fenders. I often add an extra bungie from the frame to rack, that I carry just for these bus racks to make sure my bike doesn’t bounce out of that rack.

  5. Joseph Singer says:

    Unfortunately, Metro has a bad way of communicating with bus operators about policy. I was asked for a fare today and told the driver of the free rides for cyclists and he hadn’t heard anything of this. I can’t say as I’m surprised. When it became permissible to mount bikes in the ride free zone many drivers had no idea that this was allowed. Either operators don’t pay attention or Metro doesn’t inform operators. Either way it toques me off that I have to apologize for metro policies that they don’t relate to their operators.

  6. Joseph Singer says:

    “For new cyclists who want to try loading their bike in a pressure-free environment, Metro has display bike racks at five locations around the county. They are available at North Seattle Community College, the University of Washington, Bellevue College, Alki Bike and Board in West Seattle, and at the offices of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington in Pioneer Square. Detailed information on hours and locations can be found online.”

    Unfortunately, the display models work flawlessly. The same cannot be said for bike carriers on buses which often force you to do several tries while the arm gets balky and won’t allow you to extend the arm to go over the front wheel without a fight as well as the handle to fold down the rack which more times often than not won’t give up without a fight. I don’t know if Metro isn’t maintaining the racks or if it’s a defect in the design by Sportworks. At “Bagels and Bikes” the Metro guys said that a new design was in the works. The present design that forces you to press and pull at the same time could have been better though out.

    • Al Dimond says:

      Let’s not be too hard on Metro/Sportworks for that — I think they’re honestly doing as well as they can reasonably be expected to for such a weird, niche feature! Bus bike racks haven’t been around all that long and the designs seem to still be evolving. The racks are subjected to pretty intense physical forces out there on the front of the bus — if you put your bike on the rack often you have some idea what all that vibration does to a metal contraption (you have to be more diligent about checking bolt tightness, and always check the brakes and derailers after pulling the bike off). And those racks have to move in pretty awkward ways that a bike doesn’t.

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