By now you’ve probably seen the new MAX buses; they’re out testing the route and using the Mason Corridor as a training ground up until May 10. On that day, you can expect a fully functioning MAX Bus Rapid Transit service, swiftly traveling along the Corridor at 10-minute intervals, scooping up passengers at sleek stations and transporting them to CSU, Old Town and other destinations along the way. If you’re like me, you can hardly contain your excitement for what promises to be a brighter future complete with better transportation choices in Fort Collins.
What about bikes?
Bikes and buses are complimentary modes of transportation; this is even more true with MAX. Rolling your bike directly from the platform onto the MAX buses provides a quick and easy way to escape the wind and continue your trip by bike once you reach your stop. MAX buses will accommodate four bikes opening day, and potentially more in the future depending on the demand. If you can’t find a bicycle space on board, rest assured; with bicycle parking at every station, another bus just 10 minutes away and a multiuse trail along most of the corridor, you have many options for combining bicycling with the MAX. What’s more, the Fort Collins Bike Library is now headquartered at the Downtown Transit Center, so when you find yourself in need of bicycle, jump aboard the MAX and check one out at the Bike Library.
Using the Mason Corridor
It may seem simple, but with buses, cars, bikes and pedestrians all utilizing the Mason Corridor, there are few things everyone should be aware of to ensure safe and efficient operations for all.
First, people bicycling may use the full-travel lane when riding on Mason Street. The shared lane markings provide guidance for motorists and cyclists indicating where cyclists should ride. Expect to see them there, and only pass a cyclist if you can provide at least three feet of space when doing so.
The Mason Trail provides a dedicated north-south route for non-motorized travel, paralleling the MAX line from south of Harmony Road to Laurel Street. When traveling on the Mason Trail or east-west across the Mason Corridor, please be careful crossing the MAX guideway. Using the appropriate pedestrian and traffic signals will reduce the potential for conflicts among users. While MAX operators are fully trained to share the road with bicyclists (many of whom ride a bike as well), when bicycling, it’s important for everyone’s safety to act in a predictable manner. This includes not bicycling on the MAX guideway.
What’s on the horizon?
The future of the Fort Collins bicycle-transit integration is exciting. Secured bicycle parking cages will be available at the South Transit Center, University Station and the Downtown Transit Center. Additionally, planning is under way for an expanded bike share system, complete with self-checkout stations of public bikes along the MAX corridor and at other key destinations throughout the city. As we look to May 10 and beyond, combining a bicycle trip with a transit trip may just be the most enjoyable and efficient way of traveling around Fort Collins.
Tessa Greegor is the FC Bikes program manager, a member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Coalition and a Bicycle Ambassador (bicycleambassadorprogram.org).