Bike loading & unloading
Bring your bike along to expand your range
Every Metro bus can carry three bikes on its front rack.
- Bikes can be loaded on the rack at all hours of public operation and at all transit stops.
- There is no extra charge for your bike.
- Bikes are not allowed inside the bus, except for folded bikes.
- If the bus bike rack is full, please wait for the next bus.
Loading your bike onto a Metro bus
Get the driver's attention
Approach the bus from the curbside. Be sure the bus driver knows you're going to load your bike before you step in front of the bus. After the driver gives the ok, you can safely step in front of the bus.
Lower the rack
Squeeze the rack handle upwards to release the folded bike rack. Lower the rack into the open position.
Place your bike in the rack
When the rack is empty, lift your bike into the rack space farthest from bus. Face the front wheel toward the hook (yellow or black). For tips on using the other rack spaces, read our FAQ.
Secure the support arm
Squeeze the black button and pull the support arm straight out and over the top of the front wheel (if the rack does not have this button, just pull the arm out). Place the hook as close to the top of the wheel frame as possible. The hook can rest on top of fenders. Remove accessories such as bags. Read more about accessories under Types of bikes.
Unloading your bike from a Metro bus
Get the driver's attention again!
Use the front door to get off the bus and tell the bus driver you're going to unload your bike. Wait for the driver’s ok before stepping in front of the bus.
Release the support arm
Push in the black knob to lift the support arm off the tire (or fender). Move the support arm down and out of your way.
Remove your bike
Lift your bike out of the rack. If there isn’t another bike in the rack, return the bike rack to the folded position by squeezing the handle and lifting the rack toward the bus.
If you forget your bike on the bus, contact the lost and found office.
Type of bikes on buses
- Conventional, single seat, two-wheeled bikes. Both wheels must fit into bike rack wheel slots, and the support arm/hook must fit over the top of the bike wheel (fenders ok).
- Folding bikes are welcome inside the bus, provided they’re folded and fit underneath the seat and can be kept out of the aisle.
- Size and weight limits. The rack can hold the following bike sizes safely:
- Wheel sizes 16-29 inches in diameter
- Wheel base up to 46 inches
- Tire widths up to 3 inches.
- Weight limit of 55 pounds per rack position (including any bike accessories). Many electric-assist bikes exceed this weight limit. A removable battery may be brought inside the bus.
Bike share bikes
Some bike designs will not work properly on a bus rack due to the basket attachment. Please do not load the bike backwards. Check the bike share company’s app for additional instructions about using a bike on transit.
Bikes not allowed
- Metro does not permit conventional bikes inside buses for safety reasons.
- Tandem, recumbent, three-wheeled, solid-wheeled, and gas-powered bikes cannot be accommodated. Many electric-assist bikes exceed the 55 lb weight limit.
- Bikes with attachments over the front wheel that block the support arm cannot be accommodated. This may include baskets, handlebar packs, etc.
- Accessories or attachments are not acceptable if they have the potential to:
- Prevent a second bike from being loaded or damage an adjacent bike.
- Fly off, flap around, cause a visual distraction or otherwise cause a hazard.
- Obstruct the headlights or turn signals.
- Block the driver's vision. Generally, items attached to a bicycle should be no taller than the height of the handlebars.
- Examples of prohibited items include most types of child seats and baskets fashioned from milk cartons.
Frequently asked questions
The slot farthest from the bus gives the driver the best view of the rack in use. The driver knows to leave extra space between the bus and a vehicle ahead of it. The outside space is also the easiest access for the bike rider.
The easiest order of loading is outside slot (farthest from bus), inside slot (closest to bus), middle slot. If the outside slot is already in use, follow these instructions for the other 2 positions:
Alert the driver that you're going to load. Stand on the curb. Face your front wheel toward the curb. Lift your bike and roll the back wheel into the track. Release the support arm and extend it over the front wheel, setting it at the top of the wheel next to the frame.
If the hook on the middle slot faces the curb:
Follow the instructions above for loading in the inside slot.
If the hook on the middle slot faces the street:
Alert the driver that you’re going to load. Stand in the street at the centerline of the bus. Do not stand in the line of moving traffic. Lift your bike at a 90 degree angle to the front of the bus with the back wheel toward the bus. Swing the back wheel past the first bike and set the back wheel in the slot without the hook. Set the front wheel near the hook. Pull out the hook and extend the support arm over the front wheel.
There are several models of racks, but all work in a similar way. Look for the label on an available slot showing which direction to face your front wheel—toward the curb or toward the street. Then set your bike in the slot. Pull the support arm straight out and up over the top of the wheel with the hook resting on your wheel or fender as close to the frame as possible.
You’ll need to set the hook between the top of the wheel and the bottom of the basket. If your basket is very close to the wheel (or fender) you may not be able to use the rack.
Thank you for your concern but don’t worry! Remember that while you’re loading your bike, other passengers are getting on the bus. Most of the time you’ll just be getting on right after them. To test the racks before your first ride, check out ways to practice.
The racks are first come, first served, and sometimes they’re all in use. If you can’t wait for the next bus, here are some ideas:
- On the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge (SR520), you can use a bus that’s on its way back to a base and not in passenger service. See more about traveling SR-520.
- Bike to a location that has more routes going near where you’re going. That will give you more possible racks. You may have to bike farther at the other end of your bus ride. Check TripPlanner for possible routes.
- Try to catch your bus earlier in its trip before the rack is full.
- If you don’t need your bike at the end of your transit trip, consider parking it at your transit stop instead of traveling with it. Check bike parking options.
In this region, bicycles are welcome anytime on buses, light rail, commuter trains, street cars, King County Water Taxi, and vanpools at no extra charge.
Buses – King County Metro and Sound Transit buses carry three bikes on front racks. Load or unload your bike at any regular bus stop. Other agencies in the region also carry 2 or 3 bikes per bus.
Boats – The King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Fast Ferries have bike racks onboard, depending on the vessel. Washington State Ferries has designated space on the car deck to tie up bikes (requires a small fee). Bicycle racks are also available at most terminals.
Vanpools – Racks can be installed at no charge on Metro vanpools upon request.
Check the list of locker locations to see whether Metro or Sound Transit operates that location. Then follow the instructions to find out about availability and arrange for a locker.
So far we have plenty of lockers available at the places they’re installed. At present there is no reservation system.
We have had leased (keyed) lockers since the mid-1990s. They are popular, but that system means that only 1 person has access to each locker. If that person doesn’t bike on a particular day, the locker sits empty.
As we add new lockers we’re moving to the on-demand style to make parking available to more people at more times. Customers also have flexibility to use any on-demand bike locker in the BikeLink system at anytime.
Send an email to Metro and make your suggestion. We’ll consider factors such as demand, cost and space at the location.
Many cities publish detailed bike maps of their bike routes, and there are regional and state maps as well. Various apps also can help you plan bike travel. You may want to use some time when traffic is light to try several different ways to bike to your usual destination. If you work for a large employer, you may have a commute program that includes bike resources and a buddy who’ll ride with you.
Metro is actively planning improvements in how bikes and transit work together. Metro’s long-range plan,, METRO CONNECTS, envisions significant growth in biking and walking as ways that people will reach transit.
See thein METRO CONNECTS for more information.
It depends on the weight and power source. Battery-powered e-assist bikes are accepted as long as the bike and its attachments do not exceed the weight limit of 55 lbs per rack slot. If your battery is removable you can carry it onto the bus to reduce the bike’s weight.
Practice racks are installed in several places in King County to try them out. Or, when you see a bus at a community event, ask the driver if you can test the rack.
Permanent practice racks are installed at these locations:
- Bellevue College at 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Practice rack location: Inside the bus shelter atrium in front of the parking garage at the main campus next to the vending machines. Instructions are posted next to the rack. To make an appointment for personal assistance, contact the Office of Sustainability by sending an email or calling 425-564-2720.
- North Seattle College at 9600 College Way N, Seattle, WA 98103.
Practice rack location: On the sidewalk along College Way by the flag plaza. Instructions are posted at the rack. To make an appointment for personal assistance, contact Mohamed Hamza, Transportation Coordinator, by sending an email or calling 206-934-0060.
- University of Washington Seattle Campus at 1320 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98105.
The UW practice rack is located at the corner of University Way (“The Ave”) and Campus Parkway. It is in the Transportation Services office courtyard, next to the bike racks, and is available for practice use 24/7. For more information or assistance, contact UW Transportation Services by sending an email or calling 206-616-7493
- Alki Bike & Board at 2606 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116.
Customers should check shop hours before visiting to test the rack. 206-938-3322
- Highline College at 2400 S 240 St, Des Moines, WA 98198.
Practice rack location: Next to the bus shelter located on the south side of campus (view PDF map). To make an appointment for personal assistance, contact the Director of Facilities by calling 206-878-3710 ext. 3793.