Open discussion: Bicycle access on trains

I wrote a post on my new blog, Grid Chicago, about bicycle access on transit in Chicagoland. It’s that metropolitan area with Chicago, Illinois, as a hub and reaches to a small part of southeast Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. We’ve got Metra trains (like Caltrain), and Chicago Transit Authority trains (like BART and Muni underground lines).

There are definitely ways to improve getting bikes on trains over here, and I opened up the discussion to readers to suggest improvements. I’m going to record everyone’s comments into a database so that when it comes time to push the transit agencies to make changes, we’ll know where to start.

I gave a bunch of examples of how people in other cities bring their bike aboard. I even used some Cyclelicious photos of the Caltrain bike car (so jealous!).

So based on your experience, leave a comment preferably on Grid Chicago, or on Cyclelicious, about how bike access on rail transit can get better.

Here are two examples to start the discussion – while these examples show how bikes are stored on the train, I want people to discuss how bikes GET to train stations, how they are CARRIED onto trains, and their experiences with the idiosyncratic and diverse POLICIES and employees of the transit agencies.

20101116 bart-bikeless-space

Photo of the “bike space” on BART trains in San Francisco Bay Area by Jim Dyer. 


Summer 2010 Bike Camp Trip, Day 2

Photo of Metra bike space in Chicagoland by Joshua Koonce. 




  1. A couple of years ago I moved to San Jose, CA, where I live car-free.   One of the things that I love about my commute here is that all of the public transit system (Caltrain, BART, VTA light rail, busses) accept bicycles and have decent facilities for bikes.   The net effect of this for me is to fill in the space that is accessible to me via public transit.  Many of my trips, including my commute are flexible depending on the timing.  I will ride a mile or two to catch a train which has a better schedule than the one that might be closest, or I might ride all the way.

    Having good bicycle access to public transit makes public transit a viable alternative to a personal vehicle for more people.

  2. TriMet needs reserved bicycle areas instead of catering to freeloading families with strollers larger than most bicycle trailers.

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