Monday, January 26, 2009

Tips for Taking Your Bicycle on Regional Rail

Bike access will be a bit easier when the Silverliner V cars go into service next year

This week we will be offering a few tips on taking your bicycle on public transportation.
Monday - Regional Rail and the subway lines
Tuesday - Bikes on Buses
Wednesday - NJ Transit Trains
Thursday - Subway, Market Frankford EL and the PATCO High Speed Line
Friday - Folding bikes on Amtrak and Rush Hour SEPTA Trains

SEPTA Regional Rail

For the basics read the official SEPTA Bike Rules here, we highly recommend that you print them and take them with you as not all SEPTA employees are well versed with the rules.

You may also want to check out the BCGP bikes on transit page here.

  • The two bikes per train rule is well known, although the absolute enforcement of that varies from conductor to conductor. What is not well known is that up to 5 bicycles are allowed on weekends if there is sufficient room on the train.

  • To proceed down the narrow aisles lift the front wheel up and roll the bike down the aisle. This makes it easy to maneuver and avoids other passengers getting hit by handlebars

  • Try to use a station with a high platform if possible. Examples in the City include Temple U, University City, Fern Rock, Cheltenham, Chestnut Hill West and all Central Philadelphia stations.

  • If you work or have errands in the suburbs SEPTA allows reverse commutes (outbound from Center City in the AM and inbound in the PM).

  • If the wheelchair seats are not available then consider using the center seats, its like having a semi private car. If you run out of options then go all the way to the rear and stand with your bike in the aisle.

  • The R7 to Trenton can get crowded on weekends, lots of frugal travelers with luggage. At these times we highly advise that cyclists traveling towards Trenton board at Market East at these times. On Wednesday we will talk a little about transferring from SEPTA to NJ TRANSIT to get to North Jersey, New York and beyond.

Several stations are convenient to trails including:

R1 Airport-Eastwick (John Heinz NWR)
R3 West Trenton -Yardley and West Trenton (Delaware River Canal Towpaths)
R5 Thorndale -Downingtown (Struble and Uwchlan Trail network)
R7 Trenton - Holmesburg Junction and
R8 Fox Chase - Fox Chase (Pennypack Bikeway)
R8 Chestnut Hill West - Chestnut Hill West (Wissahickon and Forbidden Drive)
R6 Norristown - All stations from East Falls to Norristown (Schuylkill River Trail)