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Thanks to the Melon City Bike Club, MuscaBus riders will soon have a way to combine riding their bikes and riding the bus.

A $900 bike rack donated by the bike club has been installed on Bus #242, the Blue route that goes east on the hour and south on the half-hour, according to Kristy Korpi, the city’s transit supervisor.

That bus will be parked outside the city’s public works building, 1459 Washington Ave., Monday through Friday next week from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. so that people can check out the new equipment and even practice how to use it. Call Korpi at 563-263-8152 to schedule an appointment. A video on how to use the new bike rack is on the city’s website, http://muscatineiowa.gov/index.aspx?NID=75.

The bike rack holds up to two bikes. Using the bike rack is free with a 75-cent MuscaBus fare or a monthly flash pass.

Once the new bike rack is in operation after Monday, Aug. 19, Korpi recommends calling ahead to make sure that Bus #242 is in service that day.

“It ties in with the Blue Zones and with bikeability throughout the town,” said Dave Cooney of Muscatine, a member of the Melon City Bike Club. “Things are getting better” for bicyclists all over town, he said, “although there are still some hurdles to get over. We’re not Portland, Oregon, yet, but we are making some headway.”

Cooney described the bike rack as simple and user-friendly. “It’s a very quick release and a secure system,” he said.

There are a few rules about using the bike rack, rules that are posted on the city’s website. Among them: no tandem bikes, bikes with motors or solid wheels, and bikes with child seats can be placed on the bike rack.

Cooney said he envisions different kinds of bike-riders using the new bike racks. Someone who pedaled to to work in the morning may not want to go home on the bicycle in a thunderstorm. Grocery shoppers might cycle to the store and the MuscaBus home, owing to all the groceries they’d otherwise have to tote home on the bicycle.

“It’s another way,” he said, “to use your bicycle around town.”


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