August 7, 2012

NJ Transit makes some weekend trains ‘bike-friendly’

In response to customer requests regarding bike access at train stations, NJ Transit designated selected trains to be  “bike-friendly” on weekends and made other improvements in support of the transportation needs of the cycling community.

“After gathering valuable input from members of the cycling community, we worked to make some common-sense changes that help make NJ Transit one of the most bicycle-friendly systems in the region,” said James Simpson, transportation commissioner and NJ Transit board chairman. “By implementing designated bike trains on weekends on most of our rail lines, in addition to the regular weekend trains, we are providing capacity for up to 7,200 bicycles on Saturdays and Sundays combined.”

Effective August 11, all weekend trains on the Raritan Valley Line and Atlantic City Rail Line and on rail service to and from Hoboken Terminal will become “bike-friendly” trains, providing capacity for up to 12 bicycles per train.

The current policy allows for bicycle access only on open railcars, meaning if four cars of a six-car train are open to customers, that train can accommodate only eight bicycles. Collapsible bicycles are permitted on all trains at all times. Under the newly revised Bike Aboard program, train crew members will be able to open unused railcars on designated bike trains as needed to provide additional capacity for cyclists.

As part of the expanded program, NJ Transit will offer 418 designated bike trains on weekends and an additional 273 non-designated bike trains on weekends can accommodate up to two bicycles per car.   

Starting in October, NJ Transit rail timetables will be reprinted to clearly indicate designated bike trains with a special bicycle icon near the train number.

To ensure the agency stays in touch with the needs of the cycling community, NJ Transit has named employee Rob Angello, project manager of capital programs and a cycling enthusiast, as the agency’s new “bicycle advocate” to give further voice to the concerns of cyclists during internal policy discussions. Questions and comments about NJ Transit’s Bike Aboard program received via the “Contact Us” form on njtransit.com will be forwarded to the bicycle advocate for review.

In addition, the agency implemented a streamlined internal process for resolving issues about bike access in real time when customers contact the Transit Information Center between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily, when the agency provides live operator assistance.   

The Bike Aboard program does not require preregistration or permits, and there is no additional charge for bringing bicycles onboard trains.
The revised policy will be available on njtransit.com starting August 10.

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