Ever since Omaha Metro Transit added bike racks on its buses in 2008, the number of riders having bikes with them surged.
According to Metro Transit, on the busiest day tallied up, only 135 riders used their bike rack compared to 7,954 in 2017. The busiest days are during the work week due to more routes offered .
Metro Transit said bike racks provide bicyclists an easy option when commuting on public transit. Metro installed the racks to create multiple transportation options, helping riders travel further, faster and point to changing habits as a reason they are seeing more people take thier bikes on the bus.
"People are environmentally continuous, people want to spend money other ways maybe on another vehicle and the cost to maintain it, exercise, we literally have people who will put their bike on a bus and come into work," said Linda Barritt, Marketing Director of Metro Transit.
Currently the buses have just two rack on the front, but soon, ORBT , the bus rapid transit, will be on the streets and you can bring your bike inside with you, with the hope of more bicyclists bringing them on, "The ORBT buses will have on board, hanging racks and we are going to accommodate six bikes per bus," said Barritt.
For rider Dawaune Hayes, he rides his bike because it's more economically affordable, "Fortunately for me I live near numerous bus lines so I'm able to walk across the street, hop on a bus, takes me just about anywhere I need to go and having my bike in between really shortens that time."
He's hoping with the release of ORBT, more Omahan's attitudes will change when it comes to alternative transportation, "We'll also have more space for people and for people to bring on their bikes so that increased frequency and increased flexibility will just encourage more people to take public transit," said Hayes.