Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It's The Eve of Rosh Hashanah - Don't You Dare Take The Bike On The Train!...Until After Sunset

Just a reminder that NJ TRANSIT's most arcane bike restriction rule is in effect today:

"Bicycles are not permitted on the day before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but are permitted on the holidays themselves."

If you depend on taking your bike on the train to get to work, to school, the doctor or whatever else you have to do, regardless of your religious affiliation you either (a) have a long walk from the station or (b) long bike ride from home or (c) you'll be an hour+ late because you were not aware of the restriction and are surprised by being kicked off the train.

Sorry not Today! 

The eve of Rosh Hashanah rule restriction is a legacy of Metro North's 1980 bike policy. Metro North was the first commuter rail line in the country to allow bikes on trains and set up the untested program by blacking out bike use during what they felt were busy times. Anyone familiar with the NY Commuter rail travel patterns on Jewish Holidays knows that there is an early rush hour beginning around 2PM, That's it, that's why you cannot take your bike on the outbound 4:30 AM train.

We challenge NJ TRANSIT to present data that shows real ridership numbers by hour and line to justify some of its random bike rules. If the agency was truly responsive to customer needs they would place restriction only trains and times that experience heavy loads. Furthermore they should be putting out notices at stations that are affected by altered bicycle access times, just like every other service disruption.

By the way if you take the bus, light rail or the Atlantic City Line the restrictions-Congratulations, the rule does not apply to you.


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