Bicycle Racks on MTA Buses Fact Sheet


In 2003 MTA purchased and installed 200 front-end bicycle racks on buses stationed at the Northwest Division Bus Yard in Baltimore City. The racks were purchased through federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. The cost of these racks was roughly 200,000 dollars.

Due to a lack of proper training for MTA bus operators and maintenance personnel all of the racks have been damaged or destroyed. As of July 2007, no buses in the MTA system currently operate with bicycle racks.

During a meeting with One Less Car and the Transit Riders Action Council of Metropolitan Baltimore MTA Administrator Paul Wiedefeld said that he was committed to seeing that all buses have bike racks in the future. However, MTA has yet to commit to a timeframe or funding plan for purchasing and installing bicycle racks.

It is important to note that the bike racks currently installed on WMATA buses in the Washington DC area were paid for in part by a 600,000-dollar grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation in 2004. As on July 2007, all WMATA metrobuses were equipped with front-end bicycle racks. Although statistics are not yet available, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association states that the racks have been a success with bicyclists and transit riders. Transit ridership on the WMATA system has increased since the installation of the racks.

Most major mass transit systems in the United States, including the systems serving Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago, Annapolis, Montgomery County, Maryland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Virginia Beach operate all or a significant majority of their buses with functioning bicycle racks.

Why bicycle racks are important

The integration of bicycles and mass transit has proven to be a cost-effective way to increase mass transit ridership and overall accessibility. A 1999 Federal Transit Administration report entitled

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