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Transportation Officials Announce T’s First Bike Cage In Boston

Posted on September 28, 2009

Boston, MA -- Transportation Secretary James A. Aloisi, local officials and bicycle advocacy groups gathered at Forest Hills Station on the Orange Line today to unveil a new, state-of-the art bike cage.  Aloisi also highlighted a planned investment of $4.8 million in federal recovery funds to improve and expand bike services for T customers.
Accessible with a swipe of a Bike CharlieCard, the brand new Forest Hills cage constructed to accommodate 100 bicycles will provide customers with a safe, secure, and sheltered location to park their bikes.  Following the success of the MBTA’s first bike cages at Alewife Station in 2008, Forest Hills station was identified as Boston’s first station to be equipped with a bike cage.  The location was selected based on bike parking demand, and to fulfill environmental justice goals.

Promoting cycling as a healthy and environmentally responsible alternative to driving, Transportation Secretary James A. Aloisi said, “For too long we have underinvested in transit and bicycle facilities.  In order to encourage customers to take advantage of a wide range of transportation options we must first provide them with the appropriate facilities and services.”

In addition to bike cages at Alewife and Forest Hills Station, funding for additional locations has become available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The MBTA will use $4.8 million in federal stimulus funding for a variety of programs to enhance and expand bicycle parking facilities at MBTA stations.  This ARRA program will fund the construction of up to 10 additional bike cages and up to 50 covered bike racks at transit stations systemwide.

"Offering a bike cage at Forest Hill MBTA Station is a terrific idea," said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.  "It will decrease the number of cars being driven into the surrounding residential neighborhood by Downtown Boston commuters, and it offers an alternative to riding the bus for the first part of the morning commute and the last leg of the evening commute.  I look forward to seeing more bike cages installed at MBTA facilities around the City."

Committed to ensuring that the commuting needs of customers are met, Acting General Manager William A. Mitchell stated, “With the on-going popularity of Alewife’s bike cages and the introduction of one at Forest Hill’s, we are making investments that respond to customers needs in ways that promote a friendlier environment, and healthier lifestyle.”

The MBTA is one of the first transit agencies in the U.S. to construct this type of bike cage.  The bike cage consists of a chain link fence enclosure with a security gate and a canopy.  Features include lighting, security cameras and an emergency call box.  The secured bike cage accessible only by riders with a “Bike Charlie Card” provides a higher level of security with the camera surveillance system.

 “Putting bike cages at T stations is a great way to make using public transportation and being environmentally responsible easier,” said State Representative Liz Malia.  “I’m so glad that the Forest Hills station was chosen as the location for Boston’s first bike cage.”

In addition to the introduction of the Forest Hills bike cage, MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan kicked-off the 2nd Annual Transit Police Bicycle Theft Awareness Campaign. During the month of October transit police officers will be on duty sharing bike theft prevention advice.  Officers will also be offering bike owners wallet cards on which they can record their bicycle’s serial number, make, and model.

“This campaign is dedicated to re-educating our customers on bike theft prevention,” said Transit Chief Paul MacMillan.  “I urge cyclists to take advantage of this important information that ultimately will help to protect their property.”

According to the National Bike Registry there are over 1.5 million bicycles stolen each year.   Half of all stolen bicycles end up in police property rooms with no way to notify the owners.  Less than 2% of all recovered bikes get returned to their owners.

Charlie BikeCards are available at Alewife and Forest Hills stations from a Customer Service Agent, at Downtown Crossing’s Customer Service Center.

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Lydia M. Rivera