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Ian asked a question about taking bikes on the tube. This brought up the question of whether we should have one question for each transit system about when and how you can bring bikes on it, or whether we should have one big question (or one per country) with answers for each transit system.

Should we try and group these questions about taking bikes on public transit together, or let each question about each transit system stand on it's own?

Edit: Please vote on existing answers, or add your own if you have another alternative.

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    I started a bikes-on-public-transit tag so we can track these. I also asked a similar question about the NYC subway, as a test question. We can always combine questions later on. – Neil Fein Oct 14 '10 at 18:47
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    @neilfien, I think the tag should be bikes-on-public-transport as I would never think of using the word "transit" – Ian Oct 14 '10 at 21:32
  • @Ian Another UK vs US english issue. – freiheit Oct 14 '10 at 23:21
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    @freiheit I would recommend changing the tag to "public-transportation"; the "bikes" part is implied by the site, and "transportation" seems to be a more universally recognized word. – Brian Campbell Oct 15 '10 at 20:28
  • agreed and done. (plus synonyms of "bikes-on-public-transit" and "bikes-on-public-transport") – freiheit Oct 16 '10 at 22:30
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I think a separate question for each transit system is fine. There's no real limit on how many questions you can have on the site, and people can find the ones they're interested in by searching. We shouldn't just post one question per transit system in a big batch, that would clutter up the front page, but wait until someone is actually curious about each one. It might make sense to have a question about general guidelines that people can apply when they don't know the local rules or there aren't specific local rules (don't try taking a bike on a crowded train during rush hour, a folder can generally be taken on any trains or busses as it's no larger than any other luggage, etc).

StackExchange sites work best if each question can be answered by one answer, which isn't true if you lump all transit systems into one question. This way, if someone does a Google search for "Taking a bike on BART" or "Taking a bike on the T", they will find a question with a title similar to that, where people provide answers tailored to that location.

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To expand on Brain’s answer…

StackOverflow and later all the other StackExchange sites were create to enable. “long tail searches” when a person searches for the problem they have on Google and are then taken straight to the questions/answer about that problem without having to use the rest of the site; Google is our home page.

How we arrange the site is not important to the people we are trying to reach, tagging etc is mostly there to help the people that answers the questions . We need more “normal” users to read answers that help them and ask new questions – we already have enough experts to answer the questions!

Likewise is it not important if the site gets awfully cluttered provided it still gets lots of traffic from Google – StackOverflow is one of the most cluttered and poorly organized sites I have seen, however it solves a lot of people’s problems, so keeps growing.

Therefore we need questions that rank at the top of the Google results for a person’s search. Also a Google user gives great weight to the page title when deciding on the search result(s) to click on.

So a question with a title of “Rules for taking bakes on the London Tube” is much more likely to be read by a Google user then a questions about “Rules for taking bakes on mass transit systems”. (The fact that an English person will not use works like “mass transit” in the search make this even more so.)

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I think it's a good idea to have multiple threads, but seperated by country. One per transit system will be create a whole bunch of duplicate answers (e.g.: This website can answer all UK related questions) and a single thread will be painful to navigate, especially for the visitor redirected here by Google.

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I think we should combine these into either one large thread or one thread for Europe, one for North America, and so on. It'll be much easier to maintain if these are in the same thread, and we can tag them with the [reference] tag, along with the other CW reference threads.

The worry about giant threads with hundreds of answers is probably unfounded. Do we relly have that many users that this is a worry?

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