On the CTA website, there's an 'alert ' that bikes are banned from ALL CTA trains ALL DAY on June 28th (12:01 AM - 11:59 PM) due to the Pride Parade.
I'm sure they'll have heavy traffic on a couple routes (north Red line and Brown line), but the whole system?
I think they ban bikes on July 4th also (it's mentioned in their Bike & Ride section). Many people go to see fireworks, but that's at night, not during the day. And not in any great numbers (Grant Park July 3rd Fireworks regularly got a million people; whereas they close the entrance to Navy Pier after it gets full at around 125,000).
How hard can it be to only ban bikes on the lines and during the times affected? (Such as, for the Pride Parade, ban bikes on the Red line from Loop to Howard as well as the Brown line from 8 AM-4 PM)
Why a system-wide ban?
How can we protest this ridiculous treatment of cyclists?
I don't plan to take the CTA on these days, but I'm sure other people would like to.
It irritates me because back in 2011 I paid my fare and took my bike thru the turnstile with no peep out of the inattentive 'attendant' in the booth, only to be told by the motorperson upstairs I wasn't allowed on the train. As it was just past 10 AM and the train was EMPTY and I already PAID, she did the decent thing and let me on. But then she must have contacted her superiors, because a few miles later the intercom blared out a warning that BIKES ARE BANNED and if I didn't get off at the next station I would be arrested. I complained to the CTA, who said they were very sorry for what happened, but apparently they're not that sorry, as they're still doing these asinine bans.
They also banned bikes when the Hawks parade was happening. No warning, like the pride parade, where there bulletins on the buses all week. I was at Jefferson Park taking the Blue line toward Rosemont, and told bikes are banned today. Lucky I knew of alternate routes with buses or I would have to ride the remaining 10 miles(no problem) to work.
The Blackhawks parade was a special event. Crowd was 'estimated' at 2 million. That's probably grossly inaccurate, but a lot of people from the greater Chicago area converged on a relatively small area, so that's bound to put a strain on the public transit.
The Pride Parade was estimated at 'hundreds of thousands', and the CTA said the Belmont station gets so crowded they have to "halt entry" temporarily. Okay, Red and Brown lines get crowded, but is it system-wide? Do they get crowds/thousands of add'l passengers on, say, the Orange or Green Lines?
As for the fireworks, people travel to those from 8PM - 9PM, not during the day.
It seems with both these situations, the CTA follows some 'tradition' they have that's not based on actual ridership data.
Bikes are allowed on Metra trains for 'reverse' commuters during rush hour (to the suburbs in morning & to the city in the evening) because trains dead-end at the final destination, and you have to get off. CTA trains have through routing, so the Brown Line heading south half empty at 4 PM will be bursting at the seams on the way back north. How would they ensure the bikes get off and create room for the expected crowds?
I think as cyclists, we're more respectful of others' rights than most people. Certainly more than SUV owners, who seem to have chronic "small penis syndrome" they inflict on the rest of the World.
The CTA cannot decide on which bikes should be allowed on trains on a case-by-case method. So they err on the side of being a bit too restrictive. I'm fine with that. There are thousands of buses we can still ride with our bikes during those banned periods.
I remember the time when NO bikes were permitted on CTA or METRA or PACE..EVER! I think we can make this accommodation for the safety and comfort of other CTA riders without complaint...or protest. Let's all try to show a maturity, unknown to many SUV drivers, who think the whole world should get out of their way at all times!
Agreed. A few days we can't use the train with bikes is completely reasonable. All I think is necessary is regular users get ample notice.
"A few days we can't use the train with bikes is completely reasonable."
No, it isn't reasonable, when it's without reason. Where are the crowds during the day for fireworks?
The July 4th bike ban policy is a holdover from the old days of Grant Park July 3rd Taste of Chicago fireworks, when a million people would travel to the lakefront. It has no purpose now.
I agree with MK and not with you. It is much better to have a non variable policy when dealing with the public on an individual basis.
Anyway I can always ride to anywhere the CTA goes. Sometimes it takes a while.
If people didn't complain, Metra wouldn't have relaxed their bike bans.
If people didn't complain, we wouldn't have the 8-hour day, or civil rights, or gay marriage, or a zillion other things.
I don't understand this attitude that says we should accept whatever scraps are given us and never speak up, lest we offend our overlords.
The CTA has plenty of ridership data. They know where the crowd problems are, yet continue to stick it to people with bikes who wish to board near-empty trains.