Sharing the Road with Mass Transit

When buses, trains and bikes share the road, it's even more important to practice safe driving and safe riding. Cyclists can help by following a few simple "rules of the road."

With higher fuel costs comes a shift in how we travel. More of us are choosing to bike or take mass transit for some or all of our trips.

When buses, trains and bikes share the road, it's even more important to practice safe driving and safe riding. TriMet operators are trained to watch out for cyclists, and you can help by following a few simple "rules of the road."

Walk your bike at stations. At MAX and WES stations, cyclists are not allowed to ride on boarding platforms or in pedestrian crossings. Walking your bike across the tracks is the safest way to enter or exit the station.

Look both ways before crossing the tracks. Trains may be approaching in either direction.

Be sure to cross the tracks straight on. It's dangerous to cross at an angle or ride alongside the tracks. It can cause your wheel to slip into the trackbed and result in a crash. To be safe, walk your bike across the tracks.

Be seen. Visibility is important when you're riding around buses. Always use a front white light and a rear red light at night, at dusk and at dawn. And remember, buses have blind spots: If you can't see the operator in the mirror, the operator can't see you.

Be predictable. Use hand signals when merging, turning or changing lanes. This helps bus operators make good decisions around you, such as when to pull out from a stop, when to pass you and when make a turn. Ride in a straight line and avoid weaving between parked cars or between the sidewalk and the street. Take the middle of the traffic lane if it is narrow, so that drivers behind you will know to move into the left lane to pass. The safest place to be around buses is in front of them.

Most important, obey signals and signs. Don't ride against traffic, or in areas marked "Bus Only." These streets are closed to bikes and other vehicles. Walk your bike on the sidewalk if you need to.

Buses and bikes share the right side of the road, and often have to "weave" across each other's paths as buses serve stops. Buses aren't permitted to cross bike lanes to get to a bus stop until the bike lane is clear. If you approach a bus serving a stop, pass on the left. When you see a stopped bus with the right blinker or the flashers activated, that means passengers are getting on and off and you should pass on the left. When a bus is flashing its "Yield" sign, don't pass. Instead, allow the bus back into the center of the lane. You should even stop if necessary. Yield signs allow buses to get back into traffic after they leave stops, so they can stay on schedule.

If you have a bad experience with a bus or a train, please let us know by calling 503-238-RIDE (7433) or email customerservice@trimet.org. Be sure to note the bus line, location and the time of day. Working together, we can all share the road safely. Your help goes a long way. To learn more, visit trimet.org/bikes.