Bikes Aboard Staten Island
With six million daily
riders, the NYC subway (MTA/NYC Transit) is the busiest subway system in the
U.S. NYC's subways also have the nation's premier bike access policy, which
can be summed up as, "Bikes allowed 24/7, be courteous and use common
sense." With just 6,000 daily riders, the Staten Island Railroad (MTA/SIR),
also part of the MTA's NYC Transit family, does not use the same policy. It
should. This summer, T.A., the Straphanger's Campaign and the Tri-State
Transportation Campaign asked the MTA to use the same bike access rules
throughout New York City. (See www.transalt.org/campaigns
The Staten Island Railroad's official bike policy is, "Transporting bicycles is permitted under limited circumstances. Please see your conductor or agent for details." This allows conductors to make their own personal bike policies and removes all service guarantees for transit and bike riders.
Shortly after 9 pm on Tuesday, June 25, a Staten Island Railroad conductor denied Joseph DiMarco, 13, his friend and their bicycles access to a St. George-bound train at Richmond Valley. The boys were returning home from a little league game (to which they had taken their bikes on the railroad). At 9:55 pm, a car struck Joseph from behind. He was thrown off his bike and his helmet was knocked off. He suffered a fractured foot and cuts and bruises to his head. There is no good reason why these teenagers were not let on a train with their bikes on a Tuesday at 9 pm.
The MTA should use a uniform bike access policy throughout the entire NYC transit system. Adopting the subway's "common sense" policy system-wide will ease movement between biking and transit and encourage more people to take advantage of both. It is common sense.