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Bicycle Coalition

Rail Car Rendering. Image – SEPTA

Earlier this year, SEPTA approved the purchase of 45 multi-level rail cars to relieve congestion on its busiest regional rail lines. The first cars will begin arriving in late 2019 and the delivery should be complete in 2020. This is great news for people who want better access for people who want to take their bike on regional rail as the specifications require that bike racks are installed on the intermediate (platform) level.

Bicycle Coalition

Taking your bike on Regional continues to be a chore, on older rail cars passengers often have to lug a bike up the stairs and then down to the end of the rail car, only to find the designated space occupied. Even the newer Silverliner 5 cars can be problematic if someone has decided to use the flip up seat. The wheel chair belt, which you use to secure the bike is usually stained with residual chain oil.

Tie downs and fold up seats on a NJ TRANSIT multi-level train.Multi-level cars equipped with bike racks is standard equipment on most newer commuter lines in the western US. Here is an example of how to take your bike on the North Star Line in Minnesota. And while there won’t be replacing any older cars we hope this leads the way to rush hour access, regardless easier bike on rail access is on its way.

John Boyle


John has been a commuting cyclist for more than 20 years. In 1994 he began working as a volunteer for the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley after attending a volunteer night, and later served as a board member in 1997-98. In 1999 John left Philadelphia for Charlottesville, VA, where he helped establish the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT), a bicycle and walking advocacy group.

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