One of the more interesting details of last week’s Rainier Station Open House was the “bike cage” planned for the entrance. Rainier Station (regardless of its ultimate name) will have space for 20 bikes in cages on opening day, with space reserved to accommodate 12 more. Regular racks and lockers will accommodate a further 20 (eventually 28).
The video above may give you an idea what it’s about, but here’s the basic flow. A bicyclist obtains a smart card (Sound Transit hasn’t selected a vendor or a technology for this) that provides her access to the cage and represents whatever cash account is necessary to pay for it. She then uses her lock to secure it to the apparatus inside and leaves.
The bike cage is far more compact than lockers while providing more security and protection from the elements than a rack. The transparent fencing is a safety feature allowing people to see what is going on inside. There will also be closed-circuit television cameras for added security.
Sound Transit didn’t respond to my question about whether or not we’ll see these at other stations before 2023.
A video about Boston’s implementation this (which I gather is farther from Sound Transit’s vision than the one above) is below the fold.