Carrying Cycle on the Bus - ideas and options
Ever wonder what aspect of Cycle Day got most attention and interest around? It was the news about BMTC trying an experiment of allowing people to carry their cycles on the Bus. Since Volvo or similar low floor buses are the only ones where it is possible to carry cycles along without causing inconvenience to other commuters, this experiment is limited to those types of buses.
A good many of us believe that if we can figure a way for people to carry their cycles around on BMTC Buses, that could really get many people to adopt bus/cycle combo for their commutes. Bus for main commute, and cycle for first and last miles, as simple as that. This coupled with 1) cycle stands to securely park and leave behind cycle at BMTC bus stands and 2) cycle rental facilities at key locations in the central area of city or job areas would be perfect.
Anyway, leave aside all other thoughts for now. What are the best, or new and creative ways of getting BMTC to carry cycles on the bus? I have heard of these:
1) Cycle Racks
Fixed in the front of the Bus, could carry up to 2-3 cycles. This is perhaps the most common option available. The challenge is in designing something that will make it possible to attach / detach cycles quickly enough. However, getting started with this should be fairly easy. Some pictures of such racks from google image search
Rack with space for two cycles:
A design to carry 3 cycles
2) Cycle Trailers.
Not as common, but may work for us. Imagine an easy way of attaching special cycle trailer to any bus through a tow hook at the back. And then, if every 3rd or 5th Big Trunk bus having this trailer in morning and evening rush hours. Or pick any bus route where demand can be built up, but the point is in having flexibility of having these attachments only when and where you have the demand.
To my surprise, found some more images of this concept on internet, here is one more:
Demanding protected dedicated cycle lanes all around the city is one thing (lot of work to fight for it and get there), but if we can crack this bus in the cycle thing - and, have safe cycle parking at bus stands (so that in case bus is loaded with cycle, I have the option of safely leaving behind my cycle at the bus stand), coupled with making cycle rentals available at hot commuter destinations around the city - we can get a good number of people to start using cycles for commutes.