Contact Contact

Bikes and transit, the perfect combination

May 20, 2016

Satya leaving by chris brunn


The Chicago region is home to a transit network that connects many communities together. However, not everyone drives or has easy and direct access to a train station or bus stop, which can be miles away from someone’s home or job.

Active Transportation Alliance believes walking, biking and transit go hand-in-hand. By having trains and buses accommodate bikes, people are able to commute to their destinations easier.

Bikes have been welcomed with open doors on trains and buses for years, but not everyone is aware of proper boarding procedures.

We’ve compiled a few important rules and tips for boarding a train or bus with your bike.

Bikes on Metra Trains

Bikes are allowed on a first come, first served basis on weekdays during off-peak hours and on weekends.

On weekdays, you can bring your bike on trains in Chicago before 6:31 a.m. and after 9:30 a.m. If you’re leaving Chicago, they’re allowed before 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m. Bikes are allowed all day on weekends.

Five bikes are allowed on each train and two on Metra Electric cars. Don’t forget to bring a bungee or something that secure your bike to the designated wheelchair accessible area where seats fold up.

It’s important noting that Metra crew can prohibit bikes from boarding or have them get off during blackout dates, a case of overcrowding or the need to accommodate a person with disabilities.

Take a complete look at Metra’s Bicycle Policy.

Bikes on CTA L Trains

Bikes are allowed on L trains every day of the week, except during weekday rush hour from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m., specific holidays like July 4th and times of overcrowding.

At the station, your bike has the higher risk of getting stuck in the turnstile, especially if there’s a tall steel barrier gate. You should use a wheelchair accessible turnstile or find a CTA attendant to unlock the access gate for you.

It’s important to remember only two bikes are permitted on each train car and shouldn’t block entrances and aisles.

The CTA has a detailed guide on the do’s and don’ts taking your bike on the train.

Bikes on CTA and Pace Buses

Taking your bike on the bus is much easier than on a train. Not only are bikes allowed during all hours of operation, there’s a bike rack attached to the front of every CTA and Pace bus, allowing for a more secure ride with your bike.

Make sure you remove all baggage or any other items from your bike. Notify the bus driver that you’ll be loading it on the front rack and do so again before getting off the bus.

Both the CTA and Pace have very similar procedures on placing bikes on racks.

The CTA has an extensive guide on how to use two different kinds of racks—Byk Rak and Sportswork--found on its buses.

Pace’s guide for their easy-to-use racks includes a section about folding bikes on the bus.

If you’re worried about your bike being stolen during your bus ride, lock up the tire to its frame. Locking it up to the front bike rack is prohibited.

Following these guidelines not only ensures the safety of everyone, but for your bike as well.

Jean Khut
Campaign Coordinator
Active Transportation Alliance

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required
Type your email address here
What emails would you like to receive from the RTA
Tagged in:

Related Articles

RTA ADA AWARENESS 2020 1 RTA celebrates 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

This month the RTA is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA transformed society and provided opportunities f...

July 29, 2020
Pace Buses 3569195969 1588881889263 Take a survey to help improve mobility options for older adults and people with disabilities

Do you or someone you know face transportation challenges? The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) wants to hear from you about transportation issues and...

May 7, 2020
Transportation Tuesday Event Brite Banner V3 004 Transportation Tuesday Webinar Series: Attend the 2020 RTA Annual Planning Workshop Virtually

The RTA is launching a four-part webinar series in place of the Annual Planning Workshop due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The free, virtual sessions wil...

April 17, 2020
Call Banner 3485388325 1590696008966 Announcing the 2020 Access to Transit Program Call for Projects for Small-Scale Capital Projects

We are excited to announce that the call for projects for the RTA  Access to Transit Program is now open. The RTA launched the Access to Transit program in 2...

March 13, 2020
22 RTA 0646 Happy International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month from the RTA

Each year the RTA celebrates Women’s History Month in March to recognize the women who work at, and ride, CTA, Metra, and Pace every day. The celebration coi...

March 8, 2020
Survey image How's Your Ride? Take This Survey

We’d like to hear your thoughts about public transit!  The RTA is sponsoring a system-wide customer satisfaction survey and would like your feedback about yo...

March 2, 2020
Copyright © 2024 Regional Transportation Authority. All Rights Reserved.