Metro changes gears on folding bikes after D.C. official busted

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Local,DC,Transportation,Kytja Weir

Metro has amended its policy on folding bicycles after a top D.C. official was busted for trying to bring her bike into a Metro station.

The transit agency said Monday that the folding bikes no longer need to placed in bags before put on trains during rush hour service. They must remain folded, though. Standard bikes remain banned between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays, plus during some special events.

The issue gained attention when D.C. Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning was told by not one but two station managers she couldn't bring her folded Brompton bike on a train as she headed to a meeting at Virginia Square in July, according to the Washington City Paper. Tregoning had told City Paper that her unbagged bike hadn't been a problem in the past and said she would ask Metro to change the policy.

Metro did not immediately comment Monday on whether Tregoning's request - or City Paper's story about it - led to the policy change.

"Designs of folding bikes have improved over the past 20 years. Today's folding bikes are more compact and less hazardous with features such as chain guards that protect customers from accidental or unwanted contact with grease and grime," Metro Assistant General Manager for Customer Service Lynn Bowersox said in a written statement.

The change is especially fitting given that Metro has been touting biking as a way to close the gap to Metro stations. It is trying to triple the number of people who bike to stations by 2020 and has increased bike parking. Bike racks are now available at all stations except for the Arlington Cemetery stop.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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Kytja Weir

Staff Writer - Transportation
The Washington Examiner