Busing the Bike
As many are likely aware, the RIPTA bus system enables cyclists to expand their area of travel through their Rack n’ Ride system. Each RIPTA bus is able to carry two bikes and there is no additional charge. Many people have been eased into bicycle commuting by putting their bike on the bus into work and then enjoying a ride home, it is a great way to reduce the perceived challenge.
Unfortunately, the following story recently came across the Bike-to-Brown email list:
This is to warn those who use the bus bike racks. This morning by bike went flying off the rack while going over rough pavement on Rt 95. Luckily it didn’t make the big leap but got hung up in the rack and stayed there.
I’ve taken the bus and bike many times, but this was the first time I noticed the rack bouncing WAY up and down, from my seat near the front, when we hit potholes. and then it was gone.
When we got to Kennedy Plaza the driver told me I had it on the rack wrong and claimed the FRONT wheel should be hooked in. He called his supervisor who said, no, I was correct.
They’re saying “your bike looks fine” but I tell them to hold on, I need to check the rims and derailleur. I spin the wheels and look at everything and it does seem to be OK. I tried to tell the supervisor there may be something going on with the rack, doing that huge bouncing on the road, he didn’t want to hear it. I said all seems well with my bike but suppose there does turn out to be a problem, what should I do? At that point he says “you spun the wheels, you’re fine”. They both turn their backs on me and walk away.
How would you handle this situation?
Some tasks I think RIBike should take on and report back to the community on are:
- How should someone contact RIPTA when a rider notices a bike rack is in disrepair?
- What is the maintenance or replacement schedule for the racks on the buses?
- Who assumes liability for a bicycle on the bus? Is it completely placed upon the rider? RIPTA? What if the rack is in disrepair?
Please contact us if you are interested in approaching RIPTA on these matters and we will put you in touch with some contacts who can point you in the right direction.