Biking to Get Around

Philadelphia has more people commuting by bicycle, per capita, than any of the other ten biggest cities in the United States. In 2012, the U.S. Census estimated Philadelphia’s bicycle commuting rate at 2.3%, higher than Chicago (1.6%) or New York (1.0%).

Every month, more people in our region discover the ease and fun of bicycling to work.

Taking your bicycle on public transit is a great way to extend your trip. Many people bike to a subway or train station as the beginning mile of their commute. But if you can lock your bike at the station or take it with you on the train or bus depends on the transit system and time of day. Here’s what you need to know about multi-modal transportation in Greater Philadelphia.

Bikes on Public Transit
Most public transportation agencies in our region will welcome your bicycle. However, there are many time and capacity restrictions.

SEPTA

  • Regional Rail: Bikes are prohibited on weekday trains arriving at 30th Street, Market East, or Suburban Stations between 6:00-9:30 AM, and prohibited on weekday trains departing those Philadelphia stations between 4:00-6:30 PM.
  • Subway-Elevated and Rt. 100: No bikes between 6-9 AM and 3-6 PM weekdays.
  • Bus: All buses have bike racks. Full size bicycles are not allowed inside buses. Here’s how you use those front-mounted bus racks.
  • Trolleys: No full size bicycles permitted at any time.

Note: folding bikes are permitted on all vehicles, but crowding may restrict their acceptance.

NJ Transit

  • Rail : 2 bikes per car. Bikes are allowed at all times on the Atlantic City Line and the River LINE. There are time and holiday restrictions on the Northeast Corridor Line (see here for full list). Folding bikes allowed at all times. Segways are allowed under the same rules but E-Bikes and E-Scooters are not permitted on any NJ TRANSIT vehicle.
  • Bus: Local buses have bike racks, while long distance buses store bikes in the luggage compartment. No bikes, including folding bikes, are allowed inside buses.

PATCO

2 bikes per car, no time restrictions except during times of special construction projects.
Hold bikes in doorways on the non-platform side of the train. Folding bikes allowed at all times.

Amtrak

Long Distance Bus Lines

  • Bolt, Peter Pan – Unboxed bikes accepted in the luggage bay as baggage if space is available.
  • Trans-Bridge Lines – Bikes accepted for a $7 fee if space is available.
  • No unboxed bicycles – Greyhound, Megabus, Fullington Trailways, Martz.
  • Other bus lines – Contact the carrier.

Bike Parking

Many rail transit stations have bicycle parking of varying quality. Contact the appropriate transit agency for details, or ask the community on our Biking the Suburbs Facebook group.

Bikes and SEPTA Buses

SEPTA + BIKES

Every SEPTA bus is equipped with a front rack that can carry two bicycles. These racks can be intimidating to use, but we partnered with SEPTA on a video showing how to quickly load your bicycle. 

It can also be intimidating to share streets with buses. SEPTA is aware of bicyclists’ concerns about sharing streets with buses, and they produced a video addressing the issue.

Bus-Related Tips for Bicycling in Philadelphia

Bus + Bikes Tips

  • Alter your route to ride on streets with fewer or no bus lines.
  • Pass buses on the left (using hand signals to signal your lane change) so you do not pass between the bus and the curb.

Alternatively, take the lane and ride behind a bus, using it as your “lead blocker.” You may not be as fast, but you will not have to worry about drivers harassing you or trying to squeeze past because there’s a bus right there.

Bikes on Bridges

Bridges + Bikes

  • Only a handful of bridges that cross the Delaware River allow bicycles and pedestrians. This limited access has been a topic of our policy recommendations. These are the bridges which allow bicycles or pedestrians to cross. 

    Ben Franklin Bridge

    • Walkway open to bicycles and pedestrians 6AM-8PM; open until 9PM from May-September.
    • During inclement weather, the bridge walkway may be closed. Follow @DRPA on Twitter for bridge updates.

    Tacony Palmyra Bridge

    • The sidewalk is open 24-hours weather permitting.
    • You are required to walk your bicycle across.

    Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (Trenton and farther north)

    • Most bridges require you to walk across.
    • Bicycles and pedestrians are not allowed on Lower Trenton (US-1), Scudder Falls (I-95) and US 202 Bridges.
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