On Nov. 7, Metra will introduce its first Bike Car, answering the call from bike enthusiasts to have more room for bicycles on its trains. The car can carry 16 bicycles instead of the usual five allowed on Metra’s accessible diesel railcars and will be deployed on the Milwaukee District North Line as part of a pilot program that will last into the spring of 2021.
In addition, beginning on Monday, Nov. 9, Metra will temporarily relax its bikes on trains policy and allow bikes on all trains across all 11 lines. There will still be limits to the number of bicycles allowed and cyclists should be advised there is no guarantee that bikes or e-scooters can be accommodated on an initial or return trip (particularly on rush-hour trains), and crews have the right to refuse bikes or e-scooters in the event of overcrowding or depending on the needs of customers with disabilities.
“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,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “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. We look forward to seeing some of the region’s more dedicated cyclists using this new amenity over the winter and to welcoming everyone else aboard in a few months.” —Metra Press Release