Victory! Metro to allow bikes on trains

WABA advocates in the 1970s taking a bike-sized cutout onto a Metro train. Starting Monday, January 7th 2019, bikes are welcome on all on trains, at all times.

In September 2018, we learned that Metro was floating a new policy that would allow bicyclists to bring their bikes on Metro “during all hours.” We were understandably interested. But we needed to know more about how this policy might impact transportation options throughout the region.

So, we decided to petition our members and the results were overwhelming. We received nearly 1500 responses with plenty of feedback on how riders would navigate this new policy.

Overwhelmingly, WABA members said they would ride Metro more if they could take their bikes on during rush hour.

We followed up with Metro, urging them to look at the policy and move towards a more inclusive stance towards bicycles on Metro trains.

And Metro heard us.

Starting Monday, January 7th, “Metro customers will be able to bring their bikes with them on the train – at any time – as Metro ends a longstanding restriction that prohibited bicycles during rush hours.”

This is the culmination of decades of work by WABA members and advocates throughout the region. This policy change represents an opportunity for people and places to be more connected.

And that’s a good thing.

To be clear, this policy would not have happened without the advocacy of WABA members throughout the region. Quoting the press release, “(w)e received requests from Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and others in the bicycle community asking us to take a fresh look at our policy,” said Metro Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader. “We believe this change supports ridership growth by Metro a commuting option for those who want to have a bike with them.”

This is really good news for the region. However, we can’t stress just how important it is for bicyclists to use good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle. WMATA is creating new rules—like using doors at either end of the car and not the center doors, and to avoid blocking doors or aisles—that will help in implementation of the policy.

We will be following up to discuss best practices, how to navigate the new procedures and road testing this policy. To learn more, read WMATA’s press release here.