Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Amtrak Ignores Bikers

One of the pleasures of riding Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner Train from Los Angeles to San Diego is how easy it is to bring your bike on the train. There are bike wall racks on nearly every car so you don't have to deal with the hassle and the costs of boxing your bike and stowing it.

Unfortunately the Southern California route is one of the few lines in the system that allow for roll-on and roll-off biking. That is a shame. I recently encountered a couple of guys who took the train up to D.C. from Richmond, Virginia and wanted to do the right thing and bring their bikes onboard instead of renting a car, but couldn't because there are no bike wall racks on any of the East Coast lines and they didn't want to spend the time and the money boxing up their bikes.

If Amtrak wants to stay competitive with the private operators that are bidding for the new high-speed rail lines that are coming, then they need to cater to bikers and not just business travelers around the country.

Wouldn't it be great if one day you could bike to Union Station in D.C., board a train bound for New York City and leave Penn Station on your bicycle?

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