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Monterey-Salinas Transit: What to do when bike racks on buses are full, plus other MST tips

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Besides other Monterey-Salinas Transit buses, many people take their bike on an MST trolley. They reduce traffic headaches by taking the regularly scheduled trolleys, for example, those going between downtown Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row.


Sometimes trolleys serve the route between Hartnell College Main and Alisal campuses in Salinas, the Monterey County seat and its largest city. For updates, contact MST.

All MST trolleys now have bicycle racks. But what to do when—on any small or large MST bus, or trolley—the bike rack is full?
At the driver’s discretion, you may take your bicycle inside the trolley or bus. If you do, it’s important to (1) keep a firm grip on your bicycle and (2) keep your bike out of the aisle.

Why “at the driver’s discretion”?

Sometimes a driver knows that on that particular route, they will soon have, for example, someone boarding with a wheelchair, or a large number of passengers boarding, which would result in the bus being crowded.

MST beauty - longview - DSC00304

More tips on taking a

bicycle on an MST bus, or trolley

The bike-and-ride section of Bicycling Monterey’s Tips for Bicycling Monterey County 20-section guide includes many additional MST tips. It highlights some especially helpful MST features such as MST RealTime – a set of tools (text, phone, app, and maps) for real-time info about when the next bus will arrive.

Among tips in the guide is where to locate bike-related info on, i.e., MST Transit Tips has details about bicycles on buses (including restrictions regarding size and weight, e-bikes, gas-powered bikes, etc.) as well as bike loading instructions for using the MST bike racks.

Loading your bike on an MST bike rack is far easier than many people think.

And you bet, bicycles ride MST free (with a paying passenger).

Most Monterey-Salinas Transit info below will remain relevant; however, for any updates, contact MST.

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Bike lockers

Bicycling Monterey’s bike-and-ride section also provides tips about MST bicycle lockers at the Marina Transit Exchange and Salinas Transit Center.

Emergency Ride Home

Are you hesitant to bike-and-ride MST to work, or just ride MST to work without your bike, or even just bike to work—because you’re worried about the unexpected? As noted in Bicycling Monterey’s bike-and-ride section (and on Bicycling Monterey’s 33-section main resources page too): if you take MST or other “alternative transportation,” such as a bicycle, even one day a week, check out the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s Emergency Ride Home program.

Contact MST with your input

Bicycling Monterey appreciates every way that Monterey-Salinas Transit supports bicycling. MST now has bicycle racks on all trolleys and on all small and large buses—except the ADA Paratransit (RIDES) buses.

Let MST know if  you have other input.

Think MST only travels within Monterey County? Wrong!

[For updates, contact MST.] Check out the MST Route List and you’ll find, e.g., express service north to Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County as well as express service to San Jose in Santa Clara County. And since September 3, 2016, service south into San Luis Obispo County goes beyond Paso Robles all the way to Templeton; see details in 9/3/16 service changes. Such route changes are a great reason to check the MST news section now and then.

And that’s not all! As…

MST Wats - Salinas Transit Center 10 May 2011 - 033 (1)

this Australian mom and son…


and these San Francisco Bay Area friends know…

Derrick Chao and Kyle Ingebretson downtown Monterey 18 Dec 2010

MST has Transit Connections too!

Learn about San Mateo County, San Francisco, East Bay, Sacramento, and other connections, plus Amtrak and Greyhound connections. Visit MST’s Transit Connections page.
You may be surprised how far you can go using a variety of public transit, thanks to MST’s connections. Many if not all of those transit providers accommodate bicycles too; check with each provider to confirm, and for their details.

Special thanks to Zoe Shoats of Monterey-Salinas Transit for confirming the accuracy of Bicycling Monterey’s MST tips.

Scroll down for more MST posts…

Vera of VCM 12 Nov 2012 2439 (2)

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Since founded in May 2009, the Bicycling Monterey website and other Bicycling Monterey projects have been provided by volunteer Mari Lynch without charge.

If you find info on the

Bicycling Monterey website helpful,

please make a contribution.

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The bike-and-ride section of Bicycling Monterey’s Tips for Bicycling Monterey County  guide includes many MST tips.

Some MST posts on Bicycling Monterey 

Ray LaHood Jazzed About MST’s Rapid-Transit Monterey Jazz Lines
Jazz Rapid Transit: Linear Museum by Monterey-Salinas Transit
June 1-Aug 31: 18 or under? No car, no worries. A bike and $38 will get you nearly everywhere you need to go, thanks to MST’s Summer Youth GoPass

Bike and ride MST Jazz Line downtown Monterey

All photos in this post were taken by Mari Lynch. All photos, text, and other material on this site are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws.

Respect copyright. Click here for details on requesting permission for reuse.

This post was published on 7 September 2016. One or more changes last made to this post on 18 July 2019.

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