While other transit agencies are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to greatly expand bicycle access to their trains, NJ Transit has quietly changed its policy regarding bicycles on trains that will severely limit those wishing to take there bicycles with them on their next trip. NJ Transit is now restricting bicycle access to all of its stations that do not have a high-level platform, including the key Hoboken Terminal. That ends up putting nearly half of NJ Transit's 163 commuter rail train stations out of reach for cyclists looking to take their bikes. On some lines, a majority of stations are off-limits! The new restrictive part of its bicycle access policy is as follows:
Cyclists and Segway users can only board or alight trains at a station with a high-level or mini high-level platform. For safety reasons, cyclists are not permitted to board or alight trains at a low-level platform, including Hoboken Terminal.Oddly enough the following language still appears in the policy:
Cyclists or Segway users must be able to lift their bicycle or Segway up and down stairs while boarding and detraining rail cars.The complete updated train access policy can be found here.
Fortunately for us in the Delaware Valley this policy will not affect anyone unless you were dreaming of biking in Jack Nicholson's hometown while staying at the Spring Lake Inn or visiting Aunt Sadie in Paramus. All Atlantic City Line and 95% of the Northeast Corridor Line Stations have high platforms.
So why should you care? The mere existence of this policy indicates the NJ TRANSIT is not totally "on-board" with the concept of intermodal travel and puts the bike on rail access that we have enjoyed for the past 15 years on a slippery slope.
You can take action by sending this letter to James Simpson, Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Transportation and Chairman of NJ TRANSIT. We encourage you to add your own personal comments.
Portions of this post was republished with permission from the WalkBikeJersey blog.