News & Reviews News Wire Metra debuts new bike car, will allow bicycles on all trains

Metra debuts new bike car, will allow bicycles on all trains

By Trains Staff | November 6, 2020

| Last updated on April 10, 2024

Modified bilevel coach to debut Saturday on Milwaukee North line

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Metra’s first bike car will debut in Milwaukee North service on Saturday. Metra, via Twitter

CHICAGO — Metra will introduce its first bike car — a coach with room for 16 bicycles, instead of the usual five — on Saturday on the Milwaukee District North Line, and will relax its bicycle policy to allow bikes on all trains across its 11 lines as of Monday, Nov. 9. There will still be limits on the number of bicycles allowed and there is no guarantee a bike can be accommodated on a specific trip.

The debut of the bike car — which has a unique blue and gray paint scheme, as well as a large bicycle decal near its exterior doors — was planned for earlier in 2020 but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was created by removing 24 seats from one half of the lower level of a Pullman-built car from the 1960s. Upper level seats remain on that side of the car for those who wish to sit within sight of their bikes. The car will operate on a set schedule, with four inbound and four outbound trips during the week and two inbound and two outbound trips on Saturdays. Its schedule is available here.

“We’re committed to being part of a regional transportation network, which includes supporting the cycling community by making Metra an accessible part of their trip,” Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a press release. “We know this car will be more widely used in warmer months, but we decided to debut it as soon as it was ready because we’re hopeful it will create new options for residents looking for ways to get out of the house in a safe, socially distanced way.”

Metra’s decision to welcome more bicyclists follows a similar move by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to allow bikes on all trains in light of the additional space available with lower ridership [see “Digest: Dallas man enters guilty plea …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 23, 2020]. The MBTA policy took effect Nov. 2.

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