Starting May 17, the Chicago Transit Authority will roll out an expanded version of its Bike & Ride program to coincide with the city's Bike Chicago 2002 program. Bike racks will now be available on two additional bus routes, the #65 Grand and #75 74th/75th, and the agency will lengthen the hours that bikes are allowed on CTA trains on weekdays.
Going forward, bikes will be restricted on CTA trains for only two hours during weekday rush periods (from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and during special events such as July 3rd when heavy passenger loads need to be accommodated. Previously, bikes were restricted for six hours each rush period. Bikes are allowed during all hours on weekends.
With the addition of the #65 Grand and #75 74th/75th bus routes, four CTA bus routes are equipped with bike racks including the #72 North Avenue and #63 63rd Street, which travel to the beaches at North Avenue and 63rd Street, respectively. The bike racks carry two bicycles each, are mounted to the front of the bus and take as little as 30 seconds to load. The CTA expects to equip more buses with bike racks later this year. Nearly all CTA rail stations have bike racks and 20 stations have racks located inside the station for enhanced security.
"The CTA recognizes the many benefits of bicycling," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?Through the Bike & Ride program, we are not only supporting a mode of transportation that is environmentally friendly, we are providing a cost-effective, convenient way for bicycle enthusiasts to use our bus and rail system to enjoy all that the Chicago area has to offer."
?Expanding our Bike & Ride program is the CTA's way of furthering Mayor Daley's goal to make Chicago the most bicycle friendly city in the United States," added CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The program offers a flexible, convenient alternative for cyclists when faced with adverse weather conditions, traffic congestion and other barriers that can prohibit a ride. It encourages intermodal transportation and further reduces the need for cars in congested areas."
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.
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.
For more information on the CTA's Bike & Ride program or to request a free Bike & Ride brochure, contact the CTA's Customer Assistance hotline at 1-888-YOUR-CTA, or visit the agency's website at www.transitchicago.com.# # #