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Countywide : Coast Highway Buses Will Get Bike Racks

A bicycle ride along the beach is about to get a little easier.

Starting next month, the Orange County Transportation Authority will install bike racks on buses that run the length of Pacific Coast Highway.

Bicyclists who get tuckered out in the middle of their rides can simply secure their bikes onto the racks and take the bus back home, OCTA officials said.

The bike racks are already being used on three inland bus routes, where they are credited with boosting ridership by more than 60% since being installed this spring.

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“This seems to be attracting riders,” said OCTA spokeswoman Elaine Beno. She said that nearly a thousand riders use the racks each month. “We find that they are very popular.”

Each rack, which is situated in the front of the bus next to the grill, can hold one or two bicycles. Riders are responsible for loading the bikes onto the racks before entering the bus.

The task usually takes just a few seconds, OCTA spokesman John Standiford said.

Routes now using the racks, and the average number of bikes carried each month, are:

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* Line 35, from Fullerton to Huntington Beach via Brookhurst Street, 418 bicycles. The service is especially popular on this route because it parallels the Santa Ana River bike trail and runs near Mile Square Regional Park, Beno said.

* Line 38, from Orange to Cerritos via La Palma Avenue, 290 bikes.

* Line 50, from Orange to Long Beach via Katella Avenue, 267 bikes.

The three routes were chosen because they were close to bike paths, parks, shopping areas and community colleges. As part of the program, bike lockers were also installed at several businesses.

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The OCTA has received many requests to expand the service to Line 1, which runs along Pacific Coast Highway from Long Beach to San Clemente, Beno said.

Steve Redpath, a member of the Orange County Wheelmen bicycle club, hailed the OCTA’s expansion of the rack program and said he hopes one day all buses will be equipped with the holders.

Each rack costs about $800. Redpath said it’s a small price to pay to get people to use their bikes instead of their cars.


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