Bikes On Board Buses - TARC Program Takes Offby Geoff Hobin
When gas prices began their climb back in March, George Perkins decided it was time to make riding TARC part of his daily routine. Trouble was, he had to walk a mile from his home to reach the nearest bus route. George had seen a flyer about TARC's Bikes-On-Board program, but neither of the bus routes he could walk to provided rack-equipped buses. Then George discovered that he could call TARC to "request-a-rack," and that has made all the difference. George is now able to "Rack 'Em and Ride" TARC.
Like George, many people would like to ride the bus to work, but they live too far from the nearest bus stop to walk. Often there are no sidewalks to walk on. These are the people who have made TARC's Bikes-On-Board pilot program a success.
The growth in use of the bike racks has been dramatic. March saw a 285 percent increase in "bicycle boardings" compared to February. In April, reported use nearly doubled March's total. As of May 29th, cyclists had used the Bikes-On-Board program well over 500 times.
Last October, thanks in large part to the support of Alderwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, and Aldermen Bill Allison and Dan Johnson, TARC's Bikes-On-Board program was launched when 20 new buses were delivered with bike racks mounted to their front bumpers. By January, TARC had 37 rack-equipped buses, enough to cover about one-tenth of TARC's peak hour service. A public survey helped determine where the racks were most likely to be used. To ensure that all customers in its service area would be able to take advantage of the new bike racks, TARC created the "Request-A-Rack" program. Much of the growth in rack use is due to people calling to ask for a rack-equipped bus on their route.
For example, originally there were no buses equipped with bike racks assigned to Indiana. That is, not until a package handler at UPS called to ask if TARC could help her get from River Falls Mall to UPS -- with her bike. Since then, cyclists have been bringing their bikes along for the ride from all sorts of places on the #2-Second Street route, including the Airport, U of L, UPS, Greentree Mall and Eastern Boulevard in Clarksville for 71 total reported boardings. Welcome aboard!
You can check bus schedules on TARC's Website (www.ridetarc.com) or call the TARC Customer Service Center at 585-1234 to speak with a TARC representative who will be happy to assist you with your trip planning. If a rack is not available for the trip you want to make, call TARC's Request-A-Rack line at 561-5165 to request that a rack-equipped bus be placed on your route.
Copyright ©2000 Louisville Wheelmen. All rights reserved.
Web posted: 1 September 2000
last updated: 3 September 2000
by Duc M. Do