Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bike racks on Alexandria's DASH buses

Tonight the City of Alexandria City Council will vote on a proposal to provide funding for bike racks on the City's DASH buses (doesn't that DASH bus on the right look naked without a rack?). The racks could be funded if the City buys one less bus.

According to Jonathan Krall:
DASH is the only bus system in the region without these racks). If you are an Alexandria resident and want to help, please write to the Alexandria City Council today (9/22). The City Council will be voting on this tonight.

Here is a sample letter:

Dear City Council,

I am writing to support adding bike racks to DASH buses using CMAQ/RSTP funding. I understand that the Transportation Commission voted to recommend that these funds go entirely to the DASH bus service. I also understand that the first unfunded item on the Transportation Commission's priority list is Bike Racks For Buses ($280,000).

I am writing to ask that some of the CMAQ/RSTP funds go to support this item (perhaps buy one less bus this year?). DASH is the only bus system in the region without racks. Bike-on-Bus trips are increasing regionally because of improved multi-modal connections. This would increase ridership and increase biking in Alexandria, both of which are good ways to get more local commerce without more local traffic.


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Following up from yesterday, based on a conversation with Yon Lambert (Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Coordinator for Alexandria), it seems the Council didn't go for the bike racks.

New buses will have racks but there is no money for bike racks on the existing fleet. Based on what I've heard so far, I gather that there isn't likely to be funding for bike racks on the existing fleet until the guys who run DASH decide that it's a priority. DASH is a non-profit corporation--I'm pretty sure they could be seeking grant money for this.

DASH can be contacted at dashbus@alexandriava.gov (please keep comments brief and polite).

Thanks very much to all who have written to the Alexandria Council about this and who have otherwise helped spread the word. :)

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