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New stations: months later, bike cages still not open

The rebuilt Ormond, McKinnon and Bentleigh stations opened in August.

Following this, the car parks all opened in November.

But what about the bike cages? The answer is that they’re still not open.

“Parkiteer” Bike cages around the rail network have proved very popular. Some stations have multiple cages. It was a smart move to decide to include them in all the stations rebuilt as part of grade separation.

But despite the cage structures having been built as part of the station buildings that opened back in August, at none of these three are the bike cages open for use.

At Ormond, a wheelbarrow and other work equipment was in the cage. According to Bicycle Network, it will become available until mid-December… so any day now? But that’s three and a half months after the station opened.
Ormond station Parkiteer bike cage under construction

Clearly some people are cycling to Ormond, as the bike hoops outside the station entrance were full last night.
Bicycles parked at Ormond station

At McKinnon last night there was a bike in there, but the door looked like it was secured shut with a piece of string. Perhaps someone just thought they could secure their bike inside it. Apparently this one officially opens in January, about five months after the station opened.
McKinnon station Parkiteer bike cage
McKinnon station Parkiteer bike cage

At Bentleigh, a structure that looks like the cages at Ormond and McKinnon is in fact a waiting room. The bike cage is around the corner… and still not completed. In fact it’s got a section of fence working as a makeshift door. This one will also open in January, about four months after the station opened.
Bentleigh station Parkiteer bicycle cage under construction

The car parks, which are much larger in area, have all opened, and although not entirely completed, all seem to be in use.
Bentleigh station new car park

The closure of the car parks during the construction period was a great opportunity to encourage train passengers to try the connecting bus (the 630 and the 703 in particular have reasonable peak hour service), or try walking or cycling to the station.

But for anybody who switched to their bicycle who thought they might be encouraged to stick with it… well, think again.

It’s a similar story at the recently rebuilt and opened St Albans and Ginifer… cages there will open… eventually, at a date yet to be announced. Bayswater (where the station opened just yesterday) is a little better — their cage will open in January.

But back at McKinnon, why is it taking up to five months after the stations re-open to get a bike cage ready for use? Clearly a missed opportunity.

Update: Metro has responded. Perhaps this specific design wasn’t such a good idea:

Update 20/12/2016:

Update 22/12/2016: The Bicycle Network web site now says all three will open in January 2017, along with Bayswater (also just rebuilt), Woodend and Kangaroo Flat.

Update 15/2/2017: All three have finally opened.

The cage at Bayswater is apparently expected to open this month. No ETA for St Albans (station opened in November), Ginifer (also November), Blackburn (not rebuilt, but part of grade separation), Heatherdale.

Update 29/3/2017: The Bentleigh bike cage has closed again.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

4 replies on “New stations: months later, bike cages still not open”

Interesting that Bayswater’s is due to open soonest after the station, despite the fact that it’s arguably the hardest to deliver, being under the station building and adjoining a new low-level bike path (which must be the best design for Parkiteer access I’ve seen).

Glad you have had a response, Daniel.

The failure to have the Parkiteer up and functional at the time of the stations reopening is such a missed opportunity. It certainly highlights that accessing the station via modes other than car, isn’t a high priority

The add to the Parkiteer delay, the shared path on Cadby Ave was only opened last week, long after the car parks, further reinforcing my sentiments on access priorities.

Further, if my memory severicrs me correctly, the cost of Parkiteer access has increased from $20 to $50. I wonder what the rationale is.

@Danita, hopefully the bike cages will open soon, and hopefully they’ve also learnt their lesson and will avoid delays in future. (I certainly raised the issue with the LXRA.)

By the way I’ve checked – the Parkiteer fee has been $50 since at least 2011.

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