Starting Monday morning, Metrorail riders are going to have to make room for bicycles during rush hour.
Metro announced Wednesday it is lifting its ban on bringing bikes onto trains during morning and afternoon rush hours, “provided that space is available.”
While adding bikes could make already crowded trains feel tighter, Metro said in a press release that the change can be made “without significant negative effects,” partly because newer 7000-series trains have more open space.
The idea was raised in an internal Metro report in May as one way the transit agency could increase ridership, noting that subways in San Francisco, New York and Atlanta allow people to bring bikes on trains at all times.
“We believe this change supports ridership growth,” Metro Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader said in the release.
The move was hailed by Washington Area Bicyclist Association Executive Director Greg Billing.
"Bicycling extends the reach of Metrorail for customers at the beginning and end of their trip,” he said in Metro’s release.
When Metro first opened, it didn’t allow bicycles at all. However, it began permitting bikes in 1982 with a paid permit and only on weekends. In 2001, the permits were eliminated and bikes were allowed on weekdays, except during rush hour.
Metro asked riders with bikes to not use the center doors of trains to avoid blocking doors or aisles.
The agency said it will monitor whether the policy needs to be modified. Metro also said it could restrict bicycles on trains during busy events like the July 4 fireworks and Inauguration Day.
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