Detroit-area bus racks are a big hit
From my favorite newspaper, the Free Press, and one of my favorite
friends-I've-never-Met, reporter Bill Laitner. Snipped from
More bicyclists parking, riding buses
SMART's racks help boost ridership
October 29, 2004
BY BILL LAITNER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
With gasoline prices sky-high, SMART bus honchos suggest that you park
your car and ride a bike.
To the bus stop, that is.
A small horde of bike commuters has been doing just that since April,
when the SMART bus system -- which covers most of Wayne, Oakland and
Macomb counties -- added bike racks to all 282 SMART buses.
Ridership by bike commuters began in June at 1,000, then quadrupled
over the summer. This fall -- when bus drivers thought it would taper
off during cooler, shorter days -- the bike commuters kept coming,
the total approaching 5,000 this month, according to SMART officials.
The usual fare is $1.50, unchanged since 1993, said Beth Gibbons,
spokeswoman. But monthly passes are a discounted $47, and Tucker uses
one provided by his employer -- Allied Cycle. On weekends, SMART's
on Board program gives bike riders free rides, in a promotion recently
extended through November.
The Detroit Department of Transportation is looking into adding racks
on its buses, a DDOT official said.
The racks are one of several factors driving up SMART's average daily
ridership from a recessionary low in 2003 of 27,000 to about 34,000 in
September, the highest since 1991, officials said.
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