All aboard, ‘fat tires’! Water Taxi’s new bike racks hold big bikes

They are designed to roll over most terrain, but “fat tire” bikes—including electric bikes—are not designed to fit into most standard bike racks. The West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxis have installed new bike racks that will hold both standard and “fat”—tire sizes as wide as 4.6 inches.

The popularity of bigger bikes, including electric bikes, has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Until now, the size of the tires on these bikes have prevented riders from boarding the Water Taxi, since for safety reasons, all bikes must be securely stowed, and previous bike racks were too narrow to accommodate tire widths over 2.5 inches.

The Water Taxi staff worked with bicycle storage experts Sportworks to find a solution.

The team designed racks that have been installed on the M/V Doc Maynard and M/V Sally Fox allowing them to accommodate multiple tire sizes. Each rack will hold nine fat tire bikes and have an overall capacity of 26 bikes regardless of tire width.

The water taxi is on its summer sailing schedule, and the City of Seattle and King County have reached an agreement to continue mid-day service seven-days-a-week this fall and winter. Adult fare is $5.75 one way ($5.00 with an ORCA card). Customers with lower incomes, people with disabilities, seniors, and youth can apply for discount transit fares using the Reduced Fare Portal.

3 thoughts on “All aboard, ‘fat tires’! Water Taxi’s new bike racks hold big bikes

  1. Your bike policy PDF from 2019 still says 2.5″ diameter and 73″ length… Is 73″ still accurate? Many kid-carrying bikes (long tail cargo and box bikes) are just over 73″.

  2. Thank you for your question.

    That length is still the current requirement as we focus on both ADA accessibility and safety aboard the Water Taxi.

    But it’s also a matter of how many bikes are in the racks. If the rack and the vessel are at full capacity, the length would be an issue, but currently that is not a concern.

    Again, thank you for reaching out to us.

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