Bikes on Amtrak. Seems like a no brainer, right?
“Amtrak is forming a task force with a variety of partners, including Adventure Cycling, state and national bicycle and passenger-rail organizations, transportation officials, trail groups, and bicycle planning experts to work towards the goal of expanding bicycle services on Amtrak lines,” reports the Adventure Cycling blog today.
Currently Amtrak offers 3 types of bike service, roll-on, baggage and folding bike. Although this service is technically available, not all stations or lines can accommodate all services. Additionally, Amtrak has an issue with employees knowing and/or implementing its policies when it comes to bikes.
Just yesterday, noted bike advocate and author of many bike related zines and books – Elly Blue tweeted about being woken by angry Amtrak employees who threatened to remove her folding bike at the next station, unless she paid to place it the baggage car.
Clearly Amtrak has some growing to do.
It only makes sense to combine bikes with trains. Multi-modal travel will entice more people to use Amtrak. We combine train travel and bike travel quite regularly in Europe. It works easily and quite well. Even in places not normally considered bike friendly.
Hopefully, Amtrak can get bike service standardized and available to all stations and lines soon.