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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. – Goodbye Stack Exchange 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

44 Answers 44

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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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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

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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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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.

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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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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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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 whether 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 drivers 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.

Christchurch http://www.metroinfo.co.nz/info/Pages/bikeracks.aspx

Almost all (27) bus routes have a 2 place rack out the front. No bikes inside the bus, but you might get away with a folded one. Central Bus Exchange has special loading doors for bikes. No cost for taking a bike. Minimum wheel size is 16"

There are no passenger trains

Ferry - the Diamond Harbour ferry will take bikes as deck cargo, at discretion of staff. Bikes not to go inside.

Auckland https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/luggage-bikes-animals/bikes-public-transport/

Bus - No bikes on any bus unless its a folder. There are bike racks on busses on Waiheke Island, but that's all.

Ferry - free at any time. Different vessels vary, just ask.

Trains will take bikes for free if there's room and at discretion of staff. Don't take a full sized bike at peak time. Folders can go at any time and stored under a seat. Use the middle car of every three, (second and fifth car of a six-carriage train)

Dunedin http://www.orc.govt.nz/Documents/Content/Information%20Services/buses/2015/Carry_on%20Guidelines_dbl%20sided%20flyer.pdf

Busses for 10 of 29 routes are required to be fitted with bike racks. The others probably have bike racks, but its not contractually required. Aim is for all busses to be bike-racked by July 2016. Minimum wheel size is 20"

No trains or ferries in Dunedin.

Wellington https://www.metlink.org.nz/assets/Publication-PDFs/Travelling-by-bicycle-booklet-december-2015-WEB.pdf

Busses - folded bikes only, carried by the passenger, at no additional charge. No bike racks available.

Trains - Bikes travel free, but only folders are allowed at peak time. Stations have bike parking.

Ferry - yes, 6-8 bikes permitted for free per crossing, on a first come first served basis

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New Jersey Transit (New Jersey/New York)

Paraphrased/quoted from here.

Trains:

Folding bikes are usually allowed.

Standard-frame bicycles are permitted on many NJ TRANSIT trains as described below: On weekdays - Bicycles are permitted on all weekday trains on all lines except inbound trains that end in Hoboken, Newark or New York between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and outbound trains that originate in Hoboken, Newark or New York between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. These trains will be designated by a bicycle symbol in public timetables.

On weekends - Bicycles are permitted on all weekend Raritan Valley, Gladstone, Montclair-Boonton, Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley, Port Jervis, and Atlantic City Line trains. These trains will be designated bike trains and will accommodate up to 12 bicycles per train. Larger groups may be accommodated with advance reservations by calling our Group Sales Department at 973-491-7220. Bicycles are also permitted on all Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and Morristown Line trains with the exception of trains ending in New York between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and trains originating in New York between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Trains on which bicycles are permitted may accommodate up to 2 bicycles on each single-level rail car and up to 8 bicycles on each multilevel rail car subject to crowding or the accessibility needs of other customers.

On holidays and business days before holidays - Bicycles are not permitted on trains (for most holidays you may care about).

If the trains are down (and they're running busses instead), you can't bring your bike.

Buses:

Bicycles are permitted at all times on buses with bike racks on the front or with underfloor luggage compartments on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently half of the NJ TRANSIT bus fleet is "bike friendly". Bicycles can be accommodated on all buses in the NJ TRANSIT Southern Division (generally the area from Princeton/Trenton to Atlantic City and south).

No tandems, no child seats.

Light Rail:

Bicycles and Segways can be carried aboard River LINE at all times. Bicycles and Segways are carried on-board Newark Light Rail and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail during weekday off-peak hours only (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.), and all day on Saturday, Sunday, and state holidays.

Don't leave your bike unattended and don't block the aisles.

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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 ...

  • 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.) – Goodbye Stack Exchange 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
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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.

Bergen

You can take a bike on buses in area around Bergen, for half the price of an adult ticket.

  • You can also take a bike on buses in area around Bergen, for half the price of an adult ticket. – Nic Jun 24 '16 at 17:41
  • @Nic Feel free to edit answers like mine to add information :) – Jørgen R Jun 26 '16 at 21:18
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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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Austin TX USA

  • Austin buses have a fold-down rack in front that can accommodate two bikes.
  • MetroRail (a commuter line) can accommodate eight bikes per car.
  • Some MetroRail stops also have bike lockups.
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