As part of an ongoing effort to encourage environmentally-friendly transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority has extended the hours that cyclists can bring bikes aboard its trains and is launching a pilot program that will test bicycle racks on two of its bus routes.
The CTA Bike & Ride program is a collaborative effort between the CTA, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (CBF), the Chicago Department of Transportation Bicycle Program (CDOT), and the CTA's Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Committee.
?Bike & Ride is wonderful in that it provides cyclists with a means to use our extensive bus and train network to get to bike paths and other points of interest throughout the city. The program complements Mayor Richard Daley's goal to make Chicago the most bicycle friendly city in the United States and provides another alternative for the CTA to expand its ridership options," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett.
Effective Friday, May 18, the CTA will extend the hours of Bikes on Trains from weekends and holidays only to all hours except weekday rush periods (4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) Bikes will also not be allowed during special events, such as July 3rd, when heavy passenger loads must be accommodated.
In addition, the CTA will kick off the Bikes on Buses pilot program on June 10 to coincide with Mayor Richard M. Daley's Bike to Transit Week celebration. During the test run, the #72 North Avenue and #63 - 63rd Street bus routes, which travel to popular destinations such as the North Avenue and 63rd Street beaches, respectively, will be equipped with bicycle racks. The program will be in effect during all hours of service on the two routes. The bike racks, which carry two bicycles each, are mounted to the front of the bus and take as little as 30 seconds to load.
?One of the key assets of the Bike & Ride program is the convenience it allows cycling enthusiasts," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Whether its to avoid traffic congestion, adverse weather conditions, or simply to take a one-way trip home after a long ride, the CTA is providing an important link to cyclists? transportation needs," Kruesi stated.
Kruesi said the CTA will evaluate the pilot Bikes on Buses program at the end of the summer.
Participants in the Bike & Ride program pay the regular fare of $1.50 to board buses and trains. There is no extra fee to transport bicycles. Program guidelines prohibit children under the age of 12 from boarding buses and trains with bicycles and an adult must accompany cyclists ages 12 to 17.
Last year, the CTA received the ?Pedal Power? award from the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation in recognition of its work with combining these two modes of transportation.
For more information on the CTA's Bike & Ride program or to request a free brochure, contact the CTA's Customer Assistance hotline at 1-888-YOUR-CTA, or the agency's website at www.transitchicago.com.###