King County Metro’s bicycle lockers already serve hundreds of people on their daily commutes, helping them get the most out of both cycling and transit. Can’t pedal all the way between work and home? Live too far from the bus line you need? No problem! Just roll to the nearest transit center or park-&-ride, stash your bike in a secure and weatherproof locker, and take the bus from there.
Yesterday, Metro unveiled a new and improved set of lockers that will be much more convenient for some users, especially occasional riders. They’re called on-demand eLockers, and they can be rented for 5 cents per hour, instead of leased yearly. This means they’re available when you need them — no under-utilized lockers, and no waiting list. Find any empty locker, swipe your BikeLink card, and you’re good to go.
Except at the Renton Transit Center, all the existing leased lockers are still there, so you can choose the option that works best for you. You can find out more about either kind of locker, apply to lease one, or order a BikeLink card, directly through me at 206.224.9252 ext. 300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more complete details, here’s the scoop from King County Metro:
On-demand bicycle lockers are now available at 10 different Metro transit facilities with the help of a federal Transportation Enhancement grant. The facilities include:
- Aurora Village Transit Center
- Eastgate P&R
- Issaquah Highlands P&R
- Kenmore P&R
- Northgate Transit Center
- Renton Transit Center
- S. Kirkland P&R
- S. Renton P&R
- S. Sammamish P&R
- Tukwila P&R
In most cases, the lockers are an addition to the existing bank of lockers.
The bike lockers are being provided and operated by eLock Technologies as part of the Bikelink system. Users will need to purchase a $20 access card from the vendor by going online to www.bikelink.org or locally at Washington Bikes (314 First Ave. S., Seattle) and can then use any available locker in the system. The cost of $0.05 per hour will be debited from the card each time a locker is used.
Metro currently has approximately 240 assigned bike lockers, accessed with a key, at almost 30 transit facilities, mostly park-and-ride lots and transit centers. Users sign a lease and pay a one-time, refundable key deposit of $50. A locker is then assigned to that individual as long as they agree to use the locker an average of three days per week. The lease must be renewed each year.
Traditional bike lockers represent an inefficient use of resources. Transit agencies throughout the country have found that even when reserved bike lockers have high rental rates, the actual daily use remains low since users have no incentive to turn in their key if not using their locker. On-demand bike lockers serve 5 – 7 times more users than assigned bike lockers.
On-demand lockers provide greater flexibility to users. Once users have an access card, they can make spontaneous decisions about riding to a transit facility and pay only for the amount of time they use. Furthermore, they are able to use any available on-demand locker in the system, rather than being restricted to one location.
On-demand lockers could encourage more people to try out cycling without making a long-term commitment. Cyclists can use on-demand lockers on a space-available basis, rather than having to commit to ride three or more days per week.
Metro will be testing these lockers over a three-year period, evaluating user acceptance, maintenance issues, usage rates, and pricing.
For more information about this project, go to www.kingcounty.gov/metro/bike.