Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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).

share|improve this question
1  
Converted to wiki. One area per answer, please. –  Neil Fein Oct 15 '10 at 19:01
1  
@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
2  
Why take a local bus when you have a bike? –  jilles de wit Oct 16 '10 at 23:04
1  
@jillesdewit to get to your LBS with a broken bike! –  dieKleene Sep 27 '13 at 18:28

36 Answers 36

New England

Massachusetts

The MBTA in the Boston area has bike racks on a fairly substantial number of the busses (70%, according to the web page). The Red, Blue, and Orange line subways, and Commuter Rail allow bikes outside of peak hours.

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority in Western Massachusetts (Amherst/Northampton area, with several colleges) has bike racks on their busses.

New Hampshire

Manchester Transit has bike racks on most busses. Some busses have bike racks which accommodate three bikes.

Concord Area Transit has bike racks on most busses.

Nashua Transit has bike racks on all busses.

Advance Transit in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire (Hanover, NH, White River Junction, VT, the Dartmouth College area) has bike racks on many of their busses.

Vermont

CCTA (Burlington) has bike racks on all busses, as well as bike lockers.

Maine

METRO Bus (Portland) has bike racks on all busses.


Even busses with bike racks can only carry two bikes at once, which means that if many people use them, you may need to wait a while before finding a bus with space, and some of them have restrictions (such as not on express busses, or not when the busses are replacing a train). In general, I find it's best not to rely on being able to take bikes on public transit, but use it as a backup option for when the weather turns bad, you have an injury, or something of the sort, and you still want to take your bike home.

share|improve this answer

The Netherlands

Bikes are allowed on all trains, except during rush hour (7-9 in the morning, 16-18 in the afternoon). But usually you can get away with it during those times anyway. You do need to buy a separate ticket for your bicycle, which costs €6 (August 2014, see this national railways page) and is valid for one day, irrespective of distance.

For high speed trains (ICE, Thalys) you need to get a ticket for your bike, for international travel it sometimes is difficult.

There are no local busses that allow or even have space for bikes, but most local distances are better done by bike anyway.

Folding bikes are considered luggage and allowed on all public transport.

Bikes are difficult to get onto what subway systems we have, but I think no-one will stop you if you try.

share|improve this answer

TriMet (Portland metro area, Oregon)

  • Busses have bike racks mounted on the front of the bus. A rider just needs to let the bus driver know at the stop that they wish to load/unload the bike. All busses have racks. Bikes do not go inside the bus. The racks hold 2 bikes. No bikes are allowed inside the bus.

    Loading a bike on a TriMet bus

  • The light rail cars have a section with hooks to hang bikes + an open area that allows for a few bikes. On type 2 and newer trains, 4 bikes can be hung in each car, and there are typically 2 cars per trainset. It is sometimes possible to fit more bikes in the that area – some people will create a second hanger using a U-lock between the bike wheel and the railing, but this is discouraged by TriMet.

    On older type 1 (high floor) cars, one bike can be leaned against the operator cabin on each end of the car (if the cabin is unoccupied), and there are 4 additional spots where a bike can be leaned against the wall, for a total of 5-6 bikes per car. There is a restriction on all trains that bikes are only allowed if room is available.

    TriMet MAX bike hook

    MAX bike placement diagram

  • Streetcars also have a designated bike area limited by room available.

http://trimet.org/howtoride/bikes/index.htm

All images from TriMet's website

share|improve this answer

New York City

You may bring your bike on the subway at all times (though it's quite rude to do it at rush hour).

You may bring your train on the commuter railroads during off-peak times.

There are no bike racks on any buses.

http://web.mta.info/bike/

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

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

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Stockholm, Sweden

Bicycles are allowed in commuter trains except during peak hours (6-9 and 15-18). Getting in and out trains with a bike is not allowed at Stockholm C and Arlanda C.

Bicycles are not allowed in busses and in the underground network.

share|improve this answer

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).

share|improve this answer

Baltimore, Maryland

Bicycles are permitted on the light rail and the metro, except if it's very crowded - which generally corresponds with when there is an Orioles or Ravens game happening. Almost every light rail, metro, and MARC stop has bike racks at the stop.

MTA buses have racks that can fit 2 bikes. A bicycle is not allowed on board.

MARC trains permit only folding bicycles.

More info: http://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/MTA-Bicycles-Brochure-2011.pdf

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

UK

There are some local services that carry bikes - but in the case local to me the utility of the implementation is questionable for regular use.

UK trains are bike-friendly, e.g. East Coast rails let you take a bike for free with any standard ticket.

North East England

Go North East (part of the Go Ahead Group) has a service that will carry one bicycle inside the bus - this is the service between Consett and Sunderland details here

In terms of "how common" - in theory all the buses on that service should be able to carry a bike however only the buses dedicated to that route have the bike specific kit.

Scotland

No bikes allowed on the stage coach buses. At times when I've had to transfer my bike for repair, I've taken off the wheels. In my experience most bus drivers will let you take the frame, albeit grumpily.

share|improve this answer

Germany

Local trains

On Deutsche Bahn, local trains ("Nahverkehrszüge") usually carry bikes. Many trains have special open areas for big objects like prams, bicycles and wheelchairs ("Mehrzweckabteil"); in others bicycles may be put into the corridors. Sometimes bikes are not allowed during peak times, like weekday morning and afternoon; this depends on operator and type of train. You may be denied boarding if there is not enough space for the bike(s); this is not unlikely to happen for larger groups, during peak times and on trains with little space.

Long-distance trains

On long-distance trains, bicycles are only allowed with a reservation, and only on trains which have bicycle compartments (which most do not have).

Buses, trams and subways

Again this depends on the region and operator. Usually bikes are only allowed outside peak times, and only one or two bikes per bus/carriage, because of space restrictions.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Toulouse, France

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

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

share|improve this answer

Spain

Bikes can go on all trains except the high-speed trains (though I've heard of exceptions to the latter).

share|improve this answer

New Zealand

Intercity took our bikes as long as there was some space in the cargo hold. The rule there is that the driver gets to decide wether your bike goes on (depending on available space), so it helps to remove the pedals and turn your handlebars and cover the oily bits, but this is not always necessary. Most divers were very friendly and will make sure your bike is properly placed to avoid damage to it.

One time they even went so far as to exchange a small passenger van for a full-size bus for 10 people just so our bikes could get on.

Note that these are not local busses.

share|improve this answer

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

share|improve this answer

Chicago

Allows bikes on a rack at the front of the bus. I see it used quite often. Bikes are also allowed on the trains but not during peak travel times. Chicago's current mayor is a big bike advocate. He is not running for re-election so we'll have to wait and see if the next one is as bike friendly.

share|improve this answer

Dallas Area

Most of the Buses in the Rapid Transit system have bike racks on the buses and you can take your bicycle into the cars on the Light Rail System.

Information is Here at the Dart Website

share|improve this answer

Brisbane (Australia) used to allow bikes to be carried on special racks at the back, though I believe that this is no longer available.

Canberra (Australia) Similarly there are some routes that let you put a bike on a special rack on the rear of the bus.

I also found a link to an interesting site that covers some other cities in the world, as well as this one that covers bikes and public transport interactions.

share|improve this answer

Columbus, OH

bike mounts on the front of the bus and runs specials like 'Bring a Bike ride for Free' and the buses do an almost protective job with the bikers.

share|improve this answer

Cleveland, Ohio

All buses have racks for 2-3 bikes. The RTA (trains) permit bikes, based on operator discretion.

http://www.riderta.com/racknroll

share|improve this answer

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Port Authority of Allegheny County which serves Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding areas has bike racks on all busses and allows bikes on light rail cars and incline rail (funicular).

share|improve this answer

San Francisco Bay Area

(anything in the 9 counties. Making this community wiki, so please add the ones you know. For those of you outside the bay area, it's 9 counties and about 40 different public transit agencies and there's all kinds of interlinks/transfer opportunities between them, so I think one big answer for all of the SF bay area might be the best way to present the information):

  • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit; light rail / subway connecting most, but not all of the bay area counties) — bikes are allowed on most trains, except certain ones during commute hours, or if the train is full. Folding cycles are always allowed. http://www.bart.gov/guide/bikes/bikeRules.aspx
  • SF Muni (light rail, buses, cable cars, etc within the city of San Francisco) — Racks on the front of most buses, but not any of the other vehicle types. Folding cycles not allowed on any. http://www.sfmta.com/cms/bcomm/BikesonMuni.htm
  • Golden Gate Transit (GGT, crosses the Golden Gate bridge to connect San Francisco to the two counties north and also ferry service between Larkspur and SF) — racks on the front of some buses and racks underneath on others. Ferries allow a limited number of bikes.
  • AC Transit (Alameda country, with transbay buses to SF) — All busses have bike racks that hold two (or three on newer buses!) bikes on the front. Some also have storage space below that can hold (officially) 2 more bikes.
  • Caltrain (rail between SF and Santa Clara) — special cars for the bikes. Folding cycles allowed. http://www.caltrain.com/riderinfo/Bicycles/Bicycle_General_Info.html
  • Samtrans (buses between SF and San Mateo) — racks on buses and rules sometimes allowing bikes on bus. http://www.samtrans.org/bikes.html
  • Sonoma County Transit (primarily connects cities within Sonoma County and also provides local transit for some cities in the county) — racks on the front of every bus. Most racks accomodate 3 bikes, some only 2. If the rack is full and there's room on board, a couple bikes can go on board.
  • Santa Rosa CityBus — Bike racks with 2 spots on the front. Can put bike in the wheelchair area if rack is full but bus isn't full.
  • VTA Bus (Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Busses; Covers the South Bay Area) — racks on the front of every bus. Racks accomodates 2 bikes. If the rack is full 2 bikes are allowed inside, at the driver's discretion. http://www.vta.org/bike_information/bikes_on_transit.html
share|improve this answer
1  
Nice summary of a bunch here (entered a few already): sfmta.com/cms/bcomm/39544.html –  freiheit Oct 15 '10 at 20:55
1  
Just for clarity, even though SF Muni does operate both light rail and buses, bikes are only allowed on buses with bike racks, no bikes at all are allowed on light rail trains. VTA does allow bikes on their light rail vehicles (up to 6 per light rail vehicle - 4 hung on racks, 2 on the floor). –  Johnny Nov 20 '12 at 18:11

In Norway

The Oslo Area

#Ruter allows you to bring a bike on the bus as long as it isn't troubling other passengers. Most busses have room for strollers, wheelchairs and bikes.You have to pay a child ticket for the bike.

I believe most public transport companies in Norway follow the same practice. I even brought a moped on the bus a couple of times.

share|improve this answer

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa has what they refer to as their rack and roll programme. Most major cross-city routes have racks. They also let you take your bike on the O-Train. In my experience it's often common to see buses without racks when they should have them, although I haven't consistently used them for a few years so things may have gotten better. It is common for the bike racks to be full during rush hour if you get on too far into the route.

share|improve this answer

Washington DC

WMATA buses have a bike rack on the front.

share|improve this answer

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

All the main routes have front mounted bike racks. The secondary routes have them on most (but not all) buses.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.