NJ Transit Adopts Expanded Bike Aboard Program, But Weekends Now Restricted

NJ Transit will allow bicycles to board at all its train stations beginning July 1 as part of an expanded Bike Aboard policy, but passengers will not be allowed to bring standard-frame bikes on the trains during peak commuter hours, certain weekend hours, some holidays and the business days before those holidays.

The expanded policy won’t help commuters who travel to New York during the a.m. rush, because bikes still will not be allowed on certain trains during peak hours. Only collapsible bikes will be allowed on those trains.

And Cyclists will now be barred from inbound trains to New York from 9 a.m. to noon and outbound trains from New York from 5 to 8 p.m.  on both Saturdays and Sundays – an added restriction. Bikes previously were allowed to board trains at many stations the entire weekend.

Under the previous policy, bikes were not allowed on trains at stations with low-level platforms.

“We heard from many customers who felt that NJ Transit’s bicycle policy was too restrictive to make riding their bikes to and from train stations a viable option,” DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson said.  “In taking a fresh look at the existing policy, we found that some simple adjustments would enable us to significantly expand access for our bicycle-riding customers.”

In response to customer feedback and comments from the bicycling community, Simpson and NJ Transit Executive Director Jim Weinstein asked the North and South Jersey Transportation Advisory Committees to review NJ Transit’s bicycle policy and make recommendations that could safely reduce restrictions limiting bicycle access on trains. The committee was tasked with addressing concerns raised by commuters who have experienced restrictions when attempting to board NJ Transit trains with bicycles, without compromising the safety of customers and employees.

“For many customers, bicycles are a way of completing the ‘last mile’ between the train station and their destinations,” NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein said in a release about the new program.  “By relaxing our Bike Aboard Program, we are encouraging an environmentally-friendly mode of travel that promotes the use of our rail service throughout the state.”

The new Bike Aboard program will allow customers to bring their bicycles on trains on all rail lines at all train stations. The policy will also allow train crew members to use discretion when allowing bicycles on trains if they have concerns about public safety. The new policy does not require preregistration or permits, and there is no additional charge for bringing bicycles on trains.

Collapsible bicycles are allowed on trains at all times. Standard-frame bicycles are permitted on the Atlantic City Rail Line at all times and on other rail lines at all times with following exceptions:

– On weekdays, bicycles are not permitted on inbound trains that end in Hoboken, Newark or New York between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.  Bicycles are not permitted on outbound trains that originate in Hoboken, Newark or New York between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.  The trains are indicated by a Q in public timetables.

– On Weekends, bicycles are not permitted on inbound trains to New York between 9 a.m. and noon.  Bicycles are not permitted on outbound trains from New York between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

-Bikes are not permitted on or the business day before New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day After Thanksgiving, Sunday After Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Bicycles are not permitted on the day before Rosh Hashanah or day before Yom Kippur, but are permitted on the prior business day and day of the holiday.

– Bicycles are not permitted on substitute bus service during rail service outages.