All of RFTA’s valley buses have front-load racks. There are two different kinds of bike racks on RFTA buses, racks that hold two bikes and racks that hold four bikes. They differ by the way the bikes rest on the arms. Bikes on the two capacity racks are lifted and placed into wheel slots. Bikes on the four capacity racks are hung from support arm of the rack that sticks out from the bus. It is a first-come, first-served system. If the racks are full, you will need to lock up your bike at the stop, pedal to your destination, or wait for the next bus.
There is a $2.00 per bike user fee, regardless of the distance traveled, in addition to the regular passenger fare. Season Pass and Monthly Pass holders must also pay the $2.00 fee. Only people capable of loading and unloading their own bikes will be allowed to use the bike racks, unless accompanied by an adult who is capable of assisting. The driver is not in a position to assist.
BIKE LOADING HOURS & DATES
Bike tires and spokes block headlights. Therefore, bikes are allowed to be loaded only during the following times:
- From Mid-April through Labor Day: 6:00am to 7:30 pm
- From the day after Labor Day through the last Saturday in October: 7:00am to 6:00pm
- From the last Sunday in October through Mid-November: 7:00am to 4:30pm
- NO bike loading during the Winter Season – Late November to Early April
BIKE LOADING STOPS
Loading and unloading of bikes is limited to the following Up and Down valley bus stops:
Rifle – Metro Park
Silt – Highway 6
New Castle – 6th Street
Glenwood – Meadows
Glenwood – Court House
Glenwood – 27th Street
Glenwood – CMC – County Rd 154
Carbondale – Park & Ride
El Jebel – Park & Ride
El Jebel – Willits
Basalt Park & Ride
Pitkin Cty – Buttermilk
Pitkin Cty – Lazy Glen
Pitkin Cty – Old Snowmass
Pitkin Cty – Aspen Village
Brush Creek Intercept Lot
Snowmass – Rodeo/Park
Snowmass – Base Village
Snowmass – Village Mall
Aspen – Buttermilk
Aspen – AABC
Aspen – Maroon Creek
Aspen – Rubey Park
TWO DIFFERENT BIKE LOADING SCENARIOS
All of RFTA’s valley buses have front-load racks. There are two different kinds of bike racks on RFTA buses, racks that hold two bikes and racks that hold four bikes. They differ by the way the bikes rest on the arms. Bikes on the two capacity racks are lifted and placed into wheel slots. Bikes on the four capacity racks are hung from support arm of the rack that sticks out from the bus. It is a first-come, first-served system, except at the Brush Creek Road and Highway 82 Intercept Lot where transferring passengers have priority. If the racks are full, you will need to lock up your bike at the stop, pedal to your destination, or wait for the next bus.
Bicycle Park and Ride
Bicycle parking is available at many of RFTA’s bus stops including: Brush Creek Intercept Lot, Aspen Village, Old Snowmass, Basalt Park & Ride, El Jebel Park & Ride, and Carbondale Park & Ride. It’s a good idea to have a bike lock with you, in case the rack on the bus is full.
Loading Your Bike
There is an optimal way to load your bike on RFTA racks. Correct loading is key to your safety, the safety of your bicycle, and the safety of others using the road. Bicycles with child carriers or panniers are NOT allowed as they are too heavy and bulky for the racks.
Watch an instructional video
Two Capacity Bike Racks
2 Bikes. All of RFTA’s new buses are equipped with bike racks on the front that can hold two bikes. You will notice it is a two capacity bike rack because there will be empty wheel wells where you lift and place your bicycles wheels in.
Prepare your bike for loading. Remove water bottles, pumps and other loose items that could fall off while the bus is in motion.
- Squeeze handle up to release latch, then fold down the bike rack. You only need to use one hand to unlatch and pull the bike rack down, so you can hold your bike with your other hand. It is not necessary to lean your bike against the bus.
- Lift your bike onto the bike rack, fitting wheels into proper wheel slots. Each wheel slot is clearly labeled for the front wheel. The purpose of the directional placement is to make the bike nearest the bus easier to unload.
- Raise the Support Arm over the front tire. The Support Arm’s number one purpose is to add lateral support for the bicycle when the bus is in motion or at rest. Many bikes will sit in the wheel well without the use of the Support Arm, but the rack must not be used without the Support Arm.
Bikes with especially thin rims and tires will sway back and forth without its use. The Support Arm needs to be raised so that the hook rests beyond the highest point of the tire closest to the frame.
- Inform the bus driver that you will be unloading your bike as you approach your stop. Use the front door to exit the bus. Unload your bike from in front of the bus or from the curb, not from the street.
- Raise the Support Arm off the tire. The Support Arm automatically folds down to a secure position.
- Lift your bike out of the bike rack.
- Fold up the Bike-Rack-for Buses if there are no bikes on the rack and no one else is waiting to load their bike. The bike rack locks in place.
Four Capacity Bike Racks
4 Bikes. You will notice it is a four capacity bike rack because there will be two sets of bars in which to rest the four bikes on. The first bicycle on each rack must be loaded with the rear tire toward the center of the bus, and the handlebars toward the outside of the bus. This keeps your handlebars from interfering with the windshield wipers, and allows the front tire to “wrap-around” the front of the bus, making the bus less wide. Be sure to slide your bike as far toward the center of the bus as possible to minimize width over-hang.
If possible, the second bicycle on each rack should also be loaded with your handlebars toward the outside of the bus. This is preferable, as it allows your front tire to wrap.
However, if your bike is the exact same size as the first bike on the rack, your handlebars and seat will conflict with the other bicycle. In this event, you will need to place your bike with handlebars toward the middle of the bus. Be sure to slide your bike as far toward the center of the bus as possible to minimize width over-hang.
Who’s On First? If there are several riders loading at the same stop, find out who’s getting off first, and load their bicycle on the outside. That way they won’t have to remove your bike to unload their own.
Space Age Security. Once you have your bike on the rack, secure it with the attached Velcro closure. The Velcro strap is designed to go directly from it’s anchor to your bike. This will help stabilize your bike when the bus rolls over dips in the road.
- Driver’s side
- Passenger’s side
- Driver’s side
- Passenger’s side
All bike seats in the middle
(see illustration to right)
NOTE: Bring the strap directly to your bike, not over the top of the rack. This ensures enough strap to secure two bikes, and will hold the bikes down on the rack.
Please re-secure the strap after unloading your bike so it doesn’t flap in the wind.
Bike Loading Tips & Rules
Tips to consider when loading bikes on RFTA bicycle racks:
- Full Rack: If the rack is full, please wait for the next bus.
- Loading: You are responsible for loading, securing, and unloading your bicycle from the rack.
- Alert Bus Driver: Direct the driver’s attention before you load or unload your bike to make sure no one is harmed.
- Traffic: Do not step into traffic while loading or unloading your bike. Load your bike from the curb. Also, do not cross the street in front of the bus – passing traffic cannot see you coming around the bus.
- Children: Only people capable of loading and unloading their own bikes will be allowed to use the bike racks, unless accompanied by an adult who is capable of assisting. The driver is not in a position to assist.
- Rack Ready Bike: Before the bus arrives, prepare your bike for loading by removing water bottles, pumps, baskets, or any loose items that might fall off.
- Not Allowed: Bicycles with child carriers or panniers are not allowed as they are too heavy and bulky for the racks.
- Do not lock your bike to the rack.
- Exiting: Use the front door when leaving the bus and notify the driver that you will be unloading your bicycle.
- Empty Rack: Move the empty rack into the upright position.
- Problems: If you notice any problems with a rack, alert the bus driver and wait for the next bus—it’s best for everyone’s safety and the safety of your bike.
- Folding Bikes: These bike are allowed to be loaded onto RFTA buses ONLY if they are in a case (hard or soft); out of aisle and under control of the owner.
- EBikes: EBike are allowed to be loaded ONLY on 2 capacity bike racks and must be loaded solely by the bike owner.
Because of limited bike rack space, high rider demand and a required transfer, getting to and from Snowmass village with your bike can sometimes be a problem. Although there is no fare for passengers taking the bus between Aspen and Snowmass there is a $2.00 charge for transporting a bicycle.
At the Brush Creek-Highway 82 Intercept lot passengers and their bikes must transfer to the connecting bus going to Snowmass. The possibility exists that by the time your bus arrives at the Brush Creek Intercept Lot no bike rack spaces may remain. Be prepared by bringing a lock, being capable of riding your bike the rest of the way, or waiting for the next bus.
Passengers with bicycles transferring from Snowmass will not be charged for the trip until they transfer to the valley bus at the Brush Creek/Highway 82 Intercept Lot. At that time the $2.00 bike fee and regular passenger fare will be assessed if there is a bike space available, and passengers will proceed to load the bike and board the bus in a first come, first served manner. Riders catching the Down valley Direct bus will pay for their bikes and the regular fares when boarding.