Amtrak Launched Its New Roll-On Bicycle Service with Ribbon Cuttings in DC and Chicago
Amtrak launched new roll-on bicycle service on the Capitol Limited route yesterday! Passengers can now roll their bikes on and off at any station along the line without having to disassemble their bike and stuff it into a box. Eight bike racks are available per train.
Until the roll-on service was launched, boxed bikes could only be loaded and unloaded at the very few stations with baggage service.
The attempt to initiate roll-on service began in early 2014 when Amtrak partnered with Adventure Cycling Association and other bicycle and passenger rail groups to create an advisory bicycle task force. Local Pittsburgher and transit advocate Stu Strickland represented Pittsburgh on the advisory committee. Stu kept us informed and has helped us along in our outreach. Thanks, Stu!
Millions of people use the GAP and C&O Trails each year and it is estimated that 60,000 cyclists travel the entire length of both trails annually.
You can start rolling on your bikes today! Reservations are required and passengers must have a ticket for their bicycles. Passengers can reserve their bicycles by selecting “add bike” when they book their train travel. The fee is $20 per bicycle for a reservation.
Amtrak will continue to offer boxed bike service at stations with ticketing and baggage service. So if, for example, all of the roll on spaces are taken you can still box your bike like in the old days.
Amtrak held ribbon cutting ceremonies on Monday at the Washington DC and Chicago stations to celebrate the new service. A similar pilot program for roll-on service will start soon on the Vermonter route between St. Albans, VT and Washington DC.
Four Great Things About the Roll On Service
- You can now use Amtrak to facilitate partial-length trips along the GAP and C&O Trail
Want to ride to Connellsville and then take the train back? Do it! Before the roll on service, train riders were only able to load and unload their boxed bikes at stations with baggage service: Pittsburgh and Washington DC.
- You can easily bring your bike all the way to Chicago
The Captiol Limited train goes all the way to Chicago so you can take your bike there too.
- COMING SOON: A space for recumbent bicycles
There are eight roll-on spaces on every train. Seven are for normal bicycles and the eighth for a recumbent. There will soon be a pricing and reservation structure for the recumbent space.
- This is bringing us closer to matching the ease of car-free travel found on the west coast
It’s really easy to travel by train with your bike in the western United States with lots of roll-on routes to choose from.
Just select “ADD BIKE TO TRIP” and you’re golden.
We’re taking over PNC Park on Tuesday, September 15th for Bike(PGH) to the Ballgame. Don’t miss the first-ever free BikePGH bike valet at the ballpark. Use promo code BIKE or the one provided to you by your bike shop.