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Bike rack for bus:Bikes double as bus fares May 15-19

MOLINE -- People looking to save on cash can use their bikes as bus fare May 15-10.

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MetroLINK, Bettendorf Transit and Davenport CitiBus are joining forces again in support of Quad-Cities cyclists, offering free rides to those who choose to “bike and bus” during Bike to Work Week.

Becky J. Passman, Project Manager and Iowa Quad Cities Transit Coordinator, said the Quad-Cities traditionally has seen a strong bike and bus usage during the week. She said the program provides an opportunity for people to give biking a try, and a reward for those who already do.

Throughout the week, all fixed-route Bettendorf, Davenport and MetroLINK buses will honor bikes as a fare for riders, as bike rack space permits. All of the Quad-Cities fixed-route buses are equipped with bicycle racks that can accommodate up to two bicycles, Ms. Passman said.

Sponsored nationally by the League of American Bicyclists, Bike to Work Week encourages people to discover the benefits of bicycling as a transportation alternative. Since 2009, the three local transportation services have partnered in a Bike to Work Week program, Ms. Passman said.

"We want to encourage people who have not considered taking the bus to step out of their comfort zone and give biking transit a try," said Jennifer Garrity, manager of administration for MetroLINK.

Ms. Garrity said the bike racks affixed to buses are used consistently throughout the year, something she sees as a good sign of people's interest.

The week is designed to educate people that -- whether commuting to work or school, running errands, or for entertainment and relaxation -- bicycling as transportation is a way to become more active, increase physical fitness and release stress. Advocates say it also promotes air quality and helps reduce wear and tear on local roads.

"Biking and busing helps alleviate the problem people face in the first mile from their bus stop," Ms. Passman said. "In our area, there are so many hills.

"It's also another healthy alternative we hope people can enjoy," Ms. Passman said.