The official usage instructions are here on the MAT web site. The racks will be available for use in two weeks on Monday, September 29. Ms. Barritt confirmed that all buses, even the shorter van style units will be outfitted with the racks by that date.
If you wanted to try out the racks but missed the open house, MAT plans to have some buses available at the September 28 Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge opening ceremony.
That's my bike on the outside position. Note that only the front wheel is tied down to the rack. Despite that, the rack and the securing arm seemed very secure and should safely hold the bike while in transit.
Some usage tips:
- Remove all bottles, panniers, pumps, etc. before the bus arrives at the stop
- Once on board the bus, sit as close to the front door as you can
- If you need to use the near position because the outside position is occupied, you can still load or unload the bike from the side, rather than trying to lift your bike over the other
- If the rack is full, you will not be permitted to board the bus with the bike, even at the back door as some some cities allow
- If you suspect your route may be full, survey the other users and try to work out a schedule to stagger your commutes
- Consider a cable lock to run through your wheel and frame to prevent a would be thief from riding off on your bike. Just be sure to have the lock on before the bus arrives. You don't want the driver to think you are locking your bike to the rack
- Have some ID mark on your bike, or log your serial number in case your bike gets lost in some manner. MAT is considering a 30 day holding policy before turning a lost bike over to charity.
- Some policies are still be worked out, such as minimum rider age and rack availability during winter months. Don't be shy about contacting Ms. Barritt through the MAT website to share your thoughts.