Good news, though I will say the “if there’s room” caveat still does mean that you will still won’t be able to take your bike on the T except in the very early parts of the morning rush that are currently verboten.
Last year the last double length red line T in the morning generally had room (but was rush-houry or at least I had more arguments about the folder than I want to remember) and the single length T that came next was packed (and non rush hour.) Nice that people will be able to ride according to roominess and not be chained by the clock.
I had a couple of times booted last year. It was after one of the games and I know two tram operators who do not like bikers. They said that car was too full. And operator did not enable the second car. I filed a complain each time. Don’t know if it helped.
On a good side I know someone who always let people to board the second car late night with condition that the only time he is going to open doors is at SHVM.
From my perspective things have gotten a lot better. I ride it probably 3 times a week most of the year. Drivers don’t say a word to me these days, which is a great change of pace from how it used to be. I’ve not had any problem getting on even when it’s busy or there are multiple bikes.
The way they collect fares from riders in the second car on an outbound trip is via off-car fare booths. That’s why the second car doors only open at stops with fare booths. So once they send those guys home and shut down the fare booths, they stop using the second car.
They could ask people on the second car to come up to the first car to pay their fares, but that’s slow, and some people won’t bother.
@Steven I assume this will change once the cashless honor system is put in place. No need for a fare booth attendant under that system. In that case, I don’t see why they couldn’t open the doors on the second car at all high platform stations that have sufficient length to safely accommodate two-car trains, regardless of what time of the day it is.
One thing that makes the system confusing now is that there are different classes of stops. Some stops are high-platform (OK for bikes), some low. Some high-platform stops have manned booths (OK for second car), some don’t. It’s too bad they can’t eliminate that second distinction under the cashless system, and say you can use the second car for every high-platform stop. But I think stops like West Library (not sure what others) aren’t long enough.