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.
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.
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.
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:
@danielbowen There was an issue with the Parkiteer door design at the 3 stations which caused delays. We're following up on that now.
— Metro Trains (@metrotrains) December 12, 2016
Bike cage at Mckinnon station progressing but still not opened. Meanwhile someone's bike left outside has been stolen ☹ [Pics: supplied] pic.twitter.com/zin7ERiw8a
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) December 20, 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.
— Level Crossings (@levelcrossings) February 14, 2017
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.
— Andrew Radburnd (@raddo) March 28, 2017