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PVTA upgrades bike racks on bus fleet

Due to overwhelming use of the current bike racks, the PVTA has purchased new three-bike racks in order to replace the very popular two-bike racks.

Due to overwhelming use of the current bike racks, the PVTA has purchased new three-bike racks in order to replace the very popular two-bike racks. (Samantha Webber / Collegian)

Seeing an increase in the amount of bicyclists riding public transportation the Pioneer Valley Transit Authorities (PVTA) has recently increased the size of bike racks on its buses.

The PVTA has purchased new three-bike racks to replace the very popular two-bike racks. 

The new and improved racks will provide the capability of adding an additional bike, allowing at least one more passenger the opportunity to make use of the bus system with a bike in tow as well. The previous rack system only allowed room for two passengers to load their bikes.

“We like the bike racks. And judging from their constant use, so does the public,” said Glenn Barrington, an operations manager for the University of Massachusetts.  “We have heard lots of positive comments from the biking community.”

Equipping racks on buses is a low-cost way to enable bike riders to cover a greater distance by incorporating public transit into their cycling, and aims to decrease the necessity for personal vehicle ownership, both an economically and environmentally-friendly service.

The new PVTA bike racks are made of brushed stainless steel. Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance, relatively low cost and familiar luster make it an ideal base material for the racks, especially in the approaching harsh winter weather.

“These racks are so much nicer than what I’m used back at my school,” said Joe Rubano, a visiting student. 

Other benefits of the new and improved bike racks are their relatively light weight and simplicity. Lifting weight to operate the rack is less than 30lbs – this falls well below OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) limits.

The racks also will not require any straps or cords to retain the bike – this translates to quick loading and unloading, keeping it simple for the passenger, and keeping the bus moving along right on time. However, the racks should be closed when not in use. Bike racks that are left open can cause preventable accidents to pedestrians and motorists.

Caitlin Soto can be reached at csoto@student.umass.edu.

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