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Entire bus fleet to be outfitted with bike racks by end of year |

Entire bus fleet to be outfitted with bike racks by end of year

| Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:00 a.m

It has been an uphill ride over the past decade for local bicycling advocates, but every bus in the Port Authority of Allegheny County system should be equipped with a bike rack by the end of the year.

About a handful of substitute buses that are scheduled to be retired by January remain without bike racks. The agency has outfitted about 700 others in its fleet with racks with the help of federal funding, donations and a program to replace old buses without racks with new buses that have them.

“This is truly an enhancement,” Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said. “Now, bicyclists know that their bus will have space for their bike.”

A Port Authority bus will be in Market Square from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday during an event to promote bicycling, mass transit and other alternative forms of transportation so riders can practice racking bikes.

Port Authority began installing bike racks on its buses in 2001, when it used a $70,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to put them on 75 buses. An additional 300 buses were outfitted using $290,150 in federal funding. In 2008, Port Authority began replacing old buses without racks, when 100 new buses with racks arrived.

Last year, Port Authority began using three grants totaling $250,000 to install racks on 190 more buses.

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