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In the UK I have never seen a public bus system that allows you to take a (non-folding) bike on the bus. (There are long distance coaches that do allow bikes, however I am asking about local busses.)

I know that some other places have buses with bike racks.

  • Where are the buses that have bike racks?
  • How common is it for buses to have bike racks?

In summary:

On some UK buses you may be able to put a single bike in the wheelchair space, ask the driver nicely.

In the US there seems to be lots of buses with bike racks on the front or back. Mostly these racks can take no more than two bikes. I was not expecting the land of the car too have better provision then the UK!

No where can you depend on being able to put your bike on a bus (due to lack of space).

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@domsterr, In the world,hence no "UK" tag – Ian Oct 15 '10 at 15:38
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Converted to wiki. One area per answer, please. – Neil Fein Oct 15 '10 at 19:01
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@neilfein: One system per answer, or maybe one area per answer? The San Francisco bay area has something like 40 overlapping systems and I wouldn't really want to see one entry for each of those, so I made a single entry for all of them. – freiheit Oct 15 '10 at 20:12
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Why take a local bus when you have a bike? – jilles de wit Oct 16 '10 at 23:04
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@jillesdewit to get to your LBS with a broken bike! – dieKleene Sep 27 '13 at 18:28

43 Answers 43

Toledo, OH, USA TARTA has bike mounts on the front of their buses.

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Toulouse, France

Bikes are allowed in the tram, except during rush hours.

Bikes are also allowed in the suburban train, including during rush hours.

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Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

A number of Metro Transit buses have a fold-down rack on the front that will hold up to 2 bikes, and most of the time they seem to be empty.

There is a guide to using the racks, and the routes with bike racks can be identified on the transit schedules page.

You can also take your bike on either of the Dartmouth-Halifax harbour ferries.

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Dayton, Ohio

RTA in Dayton and surrounding communities have bike racks on the front of the busses. However, they only hold 2 bikes and require the rider to fold and unfold the rack as needed.

However, with the Miami Valley Bike Trails and the spirit of the Wright Brothers, you don't really need RTA to get to most places.

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Dresden, Germany

Public transport is great for bikes here. You can take your bike on any bus, train, or tram. However, you do have to purchase a concession ticket for the bike.

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Toronto

In Toronto, buses have a fold-down rack on the front (outside) which will fit two bikes.

The racks are usually empty.

I've used them occasionally (e.g. for a flat tire).

You can takes bikes into the subway ("Underground") system too, but not during weekday rush-hours (06:30-09:30 and 15:30-18:30).

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Urbana/Champaign/(Parts of) Savoy, Illinois, USA

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District has almost all buses which can take 2 bikes in the front. The rules are here.

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Madison, Wisconsin

All Madison Metro buses have bike racks that hold two bikes. Tell the driver as you leave the bus that you'll be taking your bike off.

Bikes are not allowed inside the bus.

More info: http://www.cityofmadison.com/Metro/planyourtrip/bikeRacks.cfm

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Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota, USA) has a bike rack for two bikes on all buses. If the rack is full, the driver may give permission to bring your bike inside the bus. The bike racks are used pretty frequently: it's not unusual at all to see a bus with a bike or two on the front.

http://www.metrotransit.org/bicycle.aspx

To quote from above (as of August 2014 -- note that the trains are included):

All Metro Transit buses and trains have bike racks so you can pedal for part of your trip and ride for the rest. Every bus has a bike rack on the front bumper that accommodates two bikes. There are four bike racks inside each light-rail car and spaces for two bikes on every Northstar train car. In addition, there are bike racks and lockers at most stations.

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RTP area of North Carolina, USA

Most of the buses that I've seen in RTP area of North Carolina seem to have them. I've carried my bike on the Raleigh Durham Express bus several times.

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In general though, for local services, wouldn't it be more efficient to, erm, cycle yourself?

London, UK

That said most buses in London have space to carry prams, wheelchairs and so on. In theory they can carry bikes too, although it's rarely seen.

Quite often this carry space is at the discretion of the driver - many times the mother of the second or third pushchair to arrive is refused entry because they've already got the limit. Some drivers are more flexible than others.

I did once see it though, it was a rainy day and someone had punctured and the driver took pity on him. I presume that if a wheelchair wanted to then get on, though, that the cyclist might have been unlucky ...

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Good question. For commuting, it's often easier to take the bus, either for time reasons (if it's a longer trip), or if the traffic and/or roads are pretty bad. When I commuted and changed trains in Newark, NJ, I usually took the light rail, sometimes took the bus, and sometimes rode if traffic was light that day. (Admittedly, this was with a folding bike, not with a bus with bike racks, but it makes the point about time.) – Neil Fein Oct 15 '10 at 19:04
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It's a great incentive to commute by bike - people think, what if I get a puncture, or hurt myself or it snows. With this you can always take the bus. It's like the schemes where companies offer free taxis to people who ride share if they have to work late. – mgb Oct 20 '10 at 16:33
    
What, Boris didn't festoon the TFL busses with bike racks yet? You're letting the side down, Mr. Johnson! – GordonM Sep 4 '12 at 7:20

Bangalore, India
Regular buses do not allow cycles, especially since the door is too small to take it through.
Ac-buses are supposed to allow you to take your cycle. You will be charged an extra 'luggage' fee which keeps changing so I shan't bother mentioning it. However, during peak times conductors will often disallow you due to lack of space. If you want to travel by bus, try doing so in the early morning or early afternoon.
Metros do allow cycles

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UK Trains

Virgin Trains accept bikes, however you must reserve a space first.

You can book at the station ticket office at least 15 minutes before the train arrives, or over the phone [0344 556 5659, Option 1] at least 60 mins. before (as you have to wait for the system to update and then collect your reservations from a self-service machine).

You can book your ticket separate to reserving the bike space - but make sure you are very clear with the call centre that you CAN just reserve the bike space as they often are not sure of the procedure.

NOTES:

  • There are only 4 standard spaces or 4 hanging spaces on any train.
  • Spaces are always in the Quiet Coach, which is the last coach on the train, usually the Northern end but always furthest from First Class.
  • You MUST tell the platform guard you have a bike so he can open the door for you to get on (its sometimes requires a guards key to open, depending upon the train)
  • You MUST tell the train manager on the train that you have a bike and which station you are getting off at, otherwise they won't come and open the door for you.
  • The staff are usually very good and helpful.


London Midland accept trains for free with no booking required.

However, there is very little space for bikes and you have to use the area with fold-down seats reserved for wheelchairs, provided there are no wheelchairs on board. If that space is taken, then you have to stand with your bike in a doorway.

The wheelchair space is just too small for a roadbike, although it can fit on a diagonal, but an MTB fits nicely.

NOTE: Any LM train arriving into London Euston between 07:00 and 10:00 does NOT accept non-folding bikes, regardless as to the stations you are using. This is also true for trains starting at Euston between 16:00 and 19:00...although guards are more lenient the further out from London you are starting.

For example, if you get a train from MKC to LBZ (2 stops) at 06:45, you cannot take a bike on board because it reaching EUS at 07:45.

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