Bike aboard Amtrak. Photo credit: ubrayj02
Looking to take a nice train and bike trip along the coast this summer?
The Source published this news release from Caltrans, which funds some passenger rail service in California, regarding the new bike reservation policy (with our emphasis added) :
Caltrans, Amtrak Announce New Bike Reservation Policy to Improve Customer Service and Enhance Safety
SACRAMENTO – Amtrak California passengers traveling with bicycles can reserve onboard bike rack space free of charge beginning June 1, 2013 when booking travel on Pacific Surfliner trains.
“We heard our customers and we responded,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans eliminated the $5 bike reservation fee to make it as easy as possible to bring your bike along when riding the Pacific Surfliner trains.”
Previously, without a bike reservation system in place, when bike racks became full, passengers had no choice but to store bikes next to luggage storage areas or walkways. At times, if bike traffic became too heavy, bike passengers would not be allowed to board at all.
“With bike reservations, planning travel is made easier by enabling bike-toting passengers to choose an alternate train should their first choice be fully booked. It’s truly a win-win,” said Caltrans Division of Rail Chief Bill Bronte.
While there is no cost to reserve a bike slot, reservations will be required for each travel segment and must accompany a valid Amtrak ticket. Bike reservations can be made one of several ways: Online when booking tickets at AmtrakCalifornia.com (click “Add Bike to Trip” after selecting the departure and class of service); at Quik-Trak kiosks (visit the Amtrak California Station Directory for kiosk locations); from station ticket agents; or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Amtrak Multi-Ride Ticket holders (10-trip or Monthly Pass) can only obtain bike reservations through station ticket agents or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL. Amtrak has issued refunds to passengers who booked and paid for bike reservations in advance.
Most trains can accommodate six bikes. Passengers should reserve space as early as possible, as bike space is limited and may not be available on all trains or departures. All bike passengers are responsible for securing their own bicycles in provided bike racks.
About Amtrak California: Under the Amtrak California banner, Caltrans funds three of the five busiest intercity passenger rail routes in the Amtrak system: the Pacific Surfliner(r) corridor (ranked second), the Capitol Corridor(r) (ranked third), and the San Joaquin(r) corridor (ranked fifth). Caltrans manages both the Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin corridors. The Capitol Corridor, although funded by Caltrans, is managed by the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Visit us at www.amtrakcalifornia.com; join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmtrakCalifornia or follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/Amtrak_CA.
Note: Folding bicycles may be brought aboard certain passenger cars as carry-on baggage. Only true folding bicycles (bicycles specifically designed to fold up into a compact assembly) are acceptable. Generally, these bikes have frame latches allowing the frame to be collapsed, and small wheels. Regular bikes of any size, with or without wheels, are not considered folding bikes, and may not be stored as folding bikes aboard trains.
You must fold up your folding bicycle before boarding the train. You may store the bike only in luggage storage areas at the end of the car (or, in Superliners, on the lower level). You may not store bikes in overhead racks.