The Chainlink

Ive looked through a few of the topics on this matter and thought I'd give my 2c from a different viewpoint, that toolbag from the kingdom of jerk off, a Metra conductor. Have 15 years in and it was oh so nice for the first 9 not to have to deal with this but as we all know, that ended a few years back and the geniuses at Metra who came with the plan as usual half assed it and left us , the operating employee, holding the bag for it. While they are at home every weekend, they leave it to us to enforce the policy, rules and regs that go along with being able to bring bikes on board, a policy that  to this day many riders have zero clue about the proper way of doing. Of course the people who read this forum dont fall into this category at all, you are all respectful and abide by what the conductor says every time you ride Im sure. Bikes in general are a pain to have on the train, whether or not there is room for them. To this day, my estimate is that 60% of the people STILL get on without a way to secure their bike to the bottom rail like theyre supposed to, then want to fight with me about letting them ride anyway. Main reason we are such sticklers for this? If for some reason that bike is unsecured and something happens where the train moves suddenly, derails, goes through a crossover, etc and it breaks loose and hits little Tommy sitting with his Mom across the aisle and hurts him, management and Tommys Mom arent going to come after you the bike rider. Nope, theyre going to come after me, the conductor and first thing theyre going to ask / tell me is why didnt you make sure those bikes were tied down? Boom, Im out of a job when Tommys Mom sues and Im not putting my families future at risk because some doofus doesnt carry around a bungee or chain. Next, relinquishing your seat or being asked to leave the train when the train becomes too crowded IS a possibility and a risk you take when you bring your bike on board. Ive had so many arguments over this its not even funny. People seem to think once theyre on, thats it and they cant be asked to leave when we need the space. Sorry, but we can do that and Im not making a family of 5 stand up for 30 plus miles just so you can bring your bike on. Next up, reaching max capacity . Certain trains can take up to 15 bikes but we dont have to take that many. If the bikes that are on board are clogging the aisle making walking by them unsafe, Im going to cut off the bikes right there and no more will be allowed to board. So when you try to get on halfway down the line and I tell you we're full, its my decision and its final. I usually get the "cmon man you can take 1 more" stance and Im not going to compromise the safety of the other passengers no matter how much people beg and plead. Youve all seen how crowded those trains are especially on weekends, and when I have to move 4 people from their seats when you get on 1 stop out of Ogilve / Union so you can bring your bike on, its a pain, I dont like my job to be a pain, I like it to run smooth. Bikes in general cause the train not to run so smooth because of all the baggage that goes along with it. Just keep that in mind next time you think the conductor is being a jerk to some rider about their bike. NONE and I mean none of the conductors I know like having them on board m we are being forced to do it because some dopes at the top thought it would be a good idea and forced it on us without really creating a way to make it palatable for us and for you the rider. For that I dont fault you I fault them but they leave us to clean up the mess . Thanks for reading, Flame away.

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The nice thing about the folder is that it doesn't (or shouldn't) take any space that another passenger could use. There are several places to stash a folded bike (at least on the diesel-powered trains).

Much as I'd like to ride only the bike, that would be a "century" every day for me; the METRA is the only way it's possible to get to work b bike.


peter moormann said:

Dont know why it should be free to take a bike on a train if its using space.

I dislike using pubic trans., thats why I ride.


peter moormann said:

Travelers with bikes should be charged for the space the bikes use on the train car.

1 ticket for person, 1 ticket for bike.

This should solve most of the issues.

 Adding a bike to a Metra ride lets working people use public transportation by extending its range. This is something that should be encouraged, not fined away.

From the Metra website-

"Q- How is Metra funded?

A- Metra receives 55 percent of its funding from fares. The rest is from public subsidies, primarily a small regional transportation sales tax, which also helps to fund the CTA and Pace."

 I don't feel these subsidies should be only used to let loop working executives and financiers trade in their cars with low miles. The cyclist's good work need to be supported and honored. Doubling their fare certainly doesn't do that. 

       Very best regards, Tom Bruzan, Mount Prospect, Illinois

also from the metra site:

The Commuter Rail Board shall establish a citizens advisory board composed of ten residents of those portions of the metropolitan region in which the Commuter Rail Board provides service who have an interest in public transportation. The members of the advisory board shall be named for two year terms, shall select one of their members to serve as chairman and shall serve without compensation. The citizens advisory board shall meet with the Commuter Rail Board at least quarterly and advise the Commuter Rail Board of the impact of its policies and programs on the communities it serves. Appointments to the citizens advisory board should, to the greatest extent possible, reflect the ethnic, cultural, and geographic diversity of all persons residing within the Commuter Rail Division's jurisdiction.

does anyone know if any of the citizens advisory board members ever bring bikes on trains?



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