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By allowing/accomodating more bikes they could actually increase their ridership. This would be another key element towards swaying the more casual/tentative commuters [who don't own folding bikes]. It means more versatility/usability for the system.

Of course folding bikes really are the logical user's work around, provided they know about them and can afford one.

Max, at some point allowing bikes will cost them ridership. The ideal model is allowing cyclists to bike to a Metro station where they find cheap (free), secure parking and then metro to a station where they can get a Shared Bike and finish their trip. Or vice-versa. Or shared bikes on both ends.

But, washcycle, the whole point of being able to turn away bikes if it is overcrowded should minimize the chance that they will lose ridership. I tried to take nearly empty DC Metro trains (Blue from King Street to Rosslyn) with my bike during rush hour a couple years ago and ultimately largely abandoned Metro in favor of riding all the way almost all the time.

I would love to be able to take my bike on the Orange line with me during rush hour, but it just isn't really feasible right now. I get on the train at Ballston and there is often only barely enough space to squeeze onto the train with my bag, let alone a full sized bike. I have a folding bike, but have even been hesitant to try squeezing it onto the train with me.

WRM, I'm not following you. Let me state my position and see if you agree. Metro should try to come up with a more nuanced policy that allows people to bring bikes on trains that are not crowded - instead of a blanket ban on bikes during rush hour.

I'm afraid in my earlier comment I got caught up in the "facilitating new cyclists" thing, and lost track of reality.

I agree with you Washcycle that the shared bikes are the way to go, and that carry-on capacity would be limited even in an ideal rush hour situation. And a healthy compromise, like flexing the rules a bit as your saying and allow bikes on trains that aren't crowded sounds good, provided there was some sort of method to stop people from being... well, people.

Which leads me to this crazy thought: Back in the late 80's I had to go through a test and get an I.D. badge to take my bike on the metro (I still have that somewhere). It was a hassle, but might going back to that system be a way to qualify folks now with rules/skills that would ensure safe maneuvering in Metros at peak times? The level of interest for the permit would give WMATA info into demand for cycling integration.

I do think that WMATA could really enhance and profit by opening up their own bike stations at select Metro stations. Silver Spring would be a really good candidate for this. But surely this has been discussed before, yes?

It is unfortunate that our system doesn't allow reverse commute bike-on-metro. There would be plenty of room for me to take my bike from Cleveland Park to Shady Grove in the morning, but the rigid rules disallow it. In San Francisco BART prohibits bikes at very specific times that vary by station and direction... more difficult to administer, but it makes far more sense.

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