The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

October 9, 2012

Racks extend public transit reach

Bus equipped to take bikes

DANVILLE — New Danville Mass Transit Director John Metzinger is excited about the potential to increase public transit in the city even more with new bicycle racks on buses.

Metzinger said residents who don’t reside near a bus stop could ride a bicycle to one and then ride the bus to work or school.

“It extends the reach of public transit …,” he said.

Aldermen got a chance to see what a bike rack on a DMT bus looks like. A bus with a demonstration rack was on display outside city hall prior to Tuesday night’s Public Works Committee meeting. A sample bike rack provided by the manufacturer for a 90-day evaluation has been installed on one bus. The rack can hold up to three bicycles on the front of the bus.

The idea came from Metzinger, who said a lot of other cities have the racks. The DMT racks would hold three bicycles, however, not two as most other cities have.

There would not be an additional cost to bus riders for the bike rack usage.

Metzinger said it will cost $12,000 to install bicycle racks on all DMT’s 15 buses. He said DMT has some federal capital project funding to purchase the racks, but he also will be applying for more federal grant funding.

Metzinger would like to have the buses equipped within a year. Spring would be ideal for more usage, he added.

DMT employees are getting used to how the bikes snap in, and the new 3-foot added length in front of the bus with the rack and bikes there.

So far, no riders have used the rack yet. This isn’t a concern given that only one bus is now equipped, according to Metzinger. He said there have been several inquiries from riders asking when the bike racks might be available on the entire fleet.

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