Metro Red Line buses are now equipped front-end bike racks.

The racks were installed last week after customers asked for them, said Robin Selvig, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, which operates the Bus Rapid Transit line along Cedar Avenue.

The seven buses have interior bike racks, but customers said they are cumbersome to use. Passengers asked for the racks on the front of the bus that allow them to load their bicycles onto a flat rack instead having to hang them up on a vertical rack. The new racks mounted on the front of the buses are similar to those that are in use on Metro Transit buses.

For now, the interior racks will remain in use on Red Line buses, at least until a loading step is complete at the 147th Street Station. The step allows passengers access from the platform to the front of the bus where riders can store their two wheelers. The step is expected to be completed sometime this fall, Selvig said.

The current interior bike racks have not "been as successful as hoped," Selvig said, noting that they cause bicycles to stick out into the aisle, another problem with their use.

Not all riders want to see racks on the interior of the bus be removed. Selvig said a bike committee will look at what is appropriate and could retrofit the current interior racks to make them less obtrusive and easier to use.

Red Line Buses, also known as the Cedar Avenue BRT line, began operating in June. It shuttles riders between the Mall of America and four stations south of the Minnesota River in Eagan and Apple Valley.