Thanks to the advocacy efforts of Ride Illinois and the Active Transportation Alliance, Metra (Chicagoland’s commuter rail service) announced some bike-friendly news on November 5th. Ride Illinois applauds Metra for making these decisions and we look forward to working with Metra in the future to make their policies more welcoming to cyclists.
“We’re committed to being part of a regional transportation network, which includes supporting the cycling community by making Metra an accessible part of their trip,” said Metra CEO Jim Derwinski.
Introducing the Bike Car
Metra introduced a Bike Car on the Milwaukee District North Line as a pilot project on November 7. The Bike Car is easily identified by its blue and grey paint scheme, as well as a large white bicycle decal adjacent to the exterior doors. The car will run on four inbound and four outbound trains during the week and two inbound and two outbound trains on Saturdays. The schedule can be found here. Metra will post alerts to metrarail.com should a service disruption cause the car to be out of service. Metra is prepared to expand the pilot to Sundays once a second car is completed later this year.
Temporary Change to Bikes-on-Trains Policy
Metra is also temporarily relaxing bike restrictions across all 11 commuter lines. As a result, customers can bring their bikes on all trains at any time of day. This is an exciting step for cyclists in the Chicagoland area! This is an improvement over Metra’s policy that prohibited bikes on trains during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
As with Metra’s regular bikes on trains program, bicycles and e-scooters are welcome aboard. Gasoline-powered bicycles or vehicles of any kind are not permitted on any trains. Tricycles, tandems, trailers, bulky attachments or training wheels are also prohibited. Bikes and e-scooters are not to exceed 70 inches and are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. Once on board, cyclists and e-scooter users must secure their bike or e-scooter to one of the bike racks with a bungee cord or other device that they must provide.
Over the next few months, Metra will gather feedback from riders and transportation advocates about the bike car. If you’ve been hesitant to bring your bike on Metra, now is a great time to do so. Be sure to share your appreciation with Metra personnel and don’t forget your bungee cord!
Bike to Metra Guides
Ride Illinois offers nearly 40 Bike to Metra Guides which make getting to Metra stations by bike safer and easier. The guides include preferred routes to Metra stations, tips to keep you safe on the ride, and more! Use our guides to plan your next trip on Metra and be sure to tell us about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share details of your experience taking your bike on Metra. Safe travels!
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