Amtrak and Bikes: Upgrading the Experience
In support of our belief that more bicycling means more benefits for everyone, the League of American Bicyclists has taken the lead on reviving the Amtrak Bike Task Force to make bike travel by train easier and more convenient. The task force started in January 2014 when Adventure Cycling Association led the cycling community to engage with Amtrak and we began to explore ways to simplify bringing bikes on trains. We made progress: bike parking on trains and bike accessibility at many stations improved significantly. After leading for a decade, Adventure Cycling Association has decided to step back.
Starting this May the League is taking on that lead role. The task force’s kick-off webinar was a great way to re-introduce the basics of bike travel by train.
Some tips and updates our partners at Amtrak shared during the webinar:
- Train travel is popular, so our friends at Amtrak advise booking early, especially if you are traveling with a bike.
- They offer both carry-on bike service, with limited bike parking on the passenger cars, and bikes that are boxed that travel as checked luggage. The service does vary by train route and station, so check the Amtrak web-site, Amtrak.com which now makes it easy to see what station and what routes accommodate bike parking and bike luggage service.
- They are also renovating and upgrading many stations across the country, with an intentional purpose of improving train service for all travelers, including bikes.
- They are listening to the public and responding to their needs.
This is a perfect opportunity for the cycling community to engage with Amtrak and promote a new vision for rail transportation. Toward this effort, the Amtrak Bike Task Force wants to hear from you. Please take our Bikes on Amtrak survey and share it widely with your network. Your participation will help shape the work the task force does together over the next year. The train is about to leave the station, we invite you to get on board.