Amtrak's Answer to Our Bike Transport Blues
For anyone who travels frequently, you know how difficult it can be to transport your bicycle. Some of the cheaper, more accessible forms of transportation, like trains, become easily crowded with little room for your beloved bike.
Most trains allow bicycles on board, but it doesn’t come easy. Amtrak, for instance allows full-size bicycles on certain trains, but they must be stowed away in the passenger luggage section of the car which does not guarantee the bike’s safety. Otherwise, most bikes have to be checked in for $10 as a piece of luggage. Checking your bike in also requires a bicycle box, sold at most Amtrak locations, but coming in at an additional $15 per box.
Related: A Quick Guide to Safe City Cycling
Well, finally, they’ve come up with a solution to all of our bike transport frustrations. Amtrak announced this week that there will be new baggage cars added to long-distance routes by the end of the year. The new cars will be equipped with built-in bike storage to keep your bikes sturdy and safe away from the chaos of passenger cars. These baggage cars will be used on all 15 long-distance routes and will be climate controlled to keep your luggage and bikes safe and sound.
The long-distance routes are between major cities, many of which include the destinations of bike enthusiasts. Now, we can easily visit some of the safest cities for cyclists or ride America’s best city bike paths without the added stress of bike transport.
To emphasize how exciting this news is, let’s compare with airline travel. Most airlines charge a starting $50-$200 fee just for bringing a bike. That does not include the bike bag or box to store it in (and especially on air transport, you need to keep your bike secure in a box of sort). Airlines also often require you to remove pedals, handlebars and seat posts. All this stress and extra cost, and you are not even guaranteed your bikes safety.
With Amtrak’s new system in place, your bikes are securely set on bike racks that keep them safe. It’ll be easy to walk your bike on and off the trains, without the hassle of bike bags and boxes. Ride your bike to the station and ride off at your next destination.
Bringing our bike along on vacation is about to get easy and stress-free. Thank you, Amtrak, for letting us bring our two-wheeled friend along for the ride.
Related: 15 Fantasitc U.S. Bike Trails