MARTA Installing Crowd-funded Bicycle Kiosks at Train Stations
(APN) ATLANTA — Bicycle riders and advocates rejoice: MARTA is bringing bicycle repair kiosks to seven train stations this month. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on August 25, 2015 at the Lindbergh Center Station.
Allen wrenches, pedal wrenches, tire levers, phillips and flathead screwdrivers, and an air pump will be available at Lindbergh Center, Chamblee, East Point, Edgewood/Candler Park, Five Points, North Avenue, and West End stations.
“It is designed to fix the most basic problems to the more advanced problems… [I]t really is one of those things where you roll into MARTA about to hop onto one of the trains and you realize ‘Oh, I need to pump my tires,’ or ‘I need to tighten my brakes or tighten my handlebars,’” Ben Foster of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition said about the kiosks.
The Dero Fixit kiosks, which can cost upwards of one thousand dollars each, were funded with money from MailChimp, Lanier Parking, and with the support of a crowdsourcing campaign last year called “Trick Out My Trip.” Approximately five hundred dollars of this money has been set aside for maintenance of the kiosks.
“I think this makes the last mile a lot easier for people who take the train or take the bus everyday. More than 25 percent of our employees either bus or bike to work, so I think it’s important for them to have access to the last mile. I think it’s important for them, it’s important for Atlantans across the region to have that access as well,” Lain Shakespeare, marketing manager at MailChimp, said.
Rebecca Serna, the Executive Director of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, spoke with Atlanta Progressive News about the increase in bicycle ridership and infrastructure in Atlanta.
“The American Community Survey data at one point showed a four hundred percent increase over ten years,” Serna said.
“I think it’s one of these situations where there was some leading from behind happening. The increase [in bicycle ridership] happened before there was any investment in more infrastructure…. I think it had a lot to do with people moving places that were closer to their destination, so it became possible for people to ride a bike,” Serna said.
Serna also noted the impacts of recent graduates and young people, saying, “[W]e graduate so many thousands of students every year; they’re staying in Atlanta because our job market was so strong. I think that population is a little bit more likely to ride a bike, or want to take transit, or walk, just to want that freedom from owning a car.”
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is working with small business, transit agencies, community improvement districts, and universities to expand bicycle infrastructure, including the
bicycle repair kiosks, as well as bicycle racks and protected lanes, throughout Atlanta.
ABC tries to target areas that already have significant bicycle traffic, as well as under-served and underfunded areas in Atlanta, like the West End and West View neighborhoods.
“Most recently, we’ve been focused on a corridor called Lee Street that actually ties in with the West End MARTA station, and runs directly parallel to the MARTA lines… That’ll actually directly bisect the Beltline Westside trail, so it’ll provide access from the Westside trail into the MARTA station, and then heading southwest… My vision for it is that…if you work in the airport and live in any of the communities in southwest Atlanta, you could have the option to ride a bike,” Serna said.
“This should be an automobile optional part of the region, where you don’t have to own an automobile to get where you want to go… You don’t have to have a car, that should be our goal. And this is an enormous step that we can take so we can better integrate all of these modes of transportation,” Jim Durrett, MARTA Board Member, stated at the press conference.
Within recent weeks, APN reported that MARTA began a pilot program of farmers markets at its train stations.
MARTA just finished launching Wifi on buses, and has plans to continue to develop partnerships with bicycle advocates, as well as transportation alternatives like Uber and Zipcar.
“We are going to be expanding in a number of different areas, every little bit helps,” said Keith T. Parker, GM and CEO of MARTA