The local Omaha news outlets reported some time back that the bus authority, Metro Area Transit would be installing bicycle racks on all city buses sometime this Summer or Fall.
A visit to the MAT web site showed a menu icon that read “Bike & Ride.” Clicking on this link a few weeks ago I found a very spartan page simply saying that they were coming and to check back for an update. Being the inquisitive type, I fired off a note to MAT using a form on their “About Us” page.
My note read:
Do you have a timeline or estimated timeline of when bicycle racks will be
available on the city’s buses? Will there be an extra charge for racking a
bike? In the event that the racks are full or malfunctioning, would one be
allowed to bring the bike on the bus?
Within a half-hour, I had my reply!
The bike racks are in route to MAT.
Timeline will be completed later this week.
No charge to use bike racks. Every bike rack can hold two bikes. Passenger
responsible for loading and unloading their bike on the rack.
No bikes on inside the buses.
Bike information to be posted at www.metroareatransit.com
[phone number masked]
Coincidentally, this was the same day that I met with the city’s Traffic Engineer, Mr. Todd Pfitzer, and he told me that during the 2008 National Veterans Wheelchair Games, MAT had to remove the seats from about a dozen buses to provide transportation for the participants. Mr. Pfitzer said that he thought the racks were in, but that MAT’s timeline might have been delayed due to the reconfiguration of the seats.
Today I revisited the MAT web site “Bike & Ride” page and saw an update.
Installation of the bike racks has begun. At this time, the bike racks are not operational.
Please do not try to use them. Coming Soon; Bike Rack operating procedures.
Please check back for more information!
In summary, it looks like the racks will be visible very soon, and available for use sometime after that. It won’t cost any additional money to use them, but with only two slots per bus, be prepared to be at the stop early if you think the rack might be full, wait for the next bus, or just ride on to your destination on your bike.