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Old 07-14-11, 05:29 PM   #1
cranky velocist
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NY Penn Station with a bike?

I've seen off-peak train riders get on my line with zero problem, but they've been getting back off before the city.

Is it cool to walk a bike up the stairs and out of Penn Station on a crowded afternoon without being hated?

Is it safe to walk back in with the same bike at 1am to catch a late train?

I'd like to bring a bike I wouldn't have locked up outside very long when I lived in Brooklyn, but nothing flashy.

Thanks.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:45 PM   #2
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People get pissy if a person gets in their way during peak hours; has more to do with their ****ty lives than it does your bicycle.

Is it safe at 1am? Yeah for the most part. Not a lot of crime really happens in the popular train stations, at least not the "I'm crazy and I'm going to **** you and steal your spokes" kind.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:11 PM   #3
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Just to be on the safe side, ask the proper authorities (call 3-1-1 if you're unsure where to address the concern) what the policy is concerning this. I know the M.T.A. recommends not bringing bikes onboard their subways during rush hours, but does not prohibit it. Check into the deal at Penn Station, simply so you know you're not in the wrong in case someone tries to call you on being there.
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Old 07-15-11, 12:29 AM   #4
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You can take bikes on all NJT trains during off-peak hours, and you'll be fine in the station, too. Hug the right side of the stairs when you're hucking the bike, and don't smack anyone in the face with your rear wheel; you won't be any different from the scores of slow pokes with heavy suitcases. I've never gotten any flak unless I bring my bike during peak hours or holidays (by mistake).

Penn Station at 1am is safe, if sometimes eerily empty and full of sleeping homeless folk and drunk B&T-ers. There's still ample police presence, and guards, too, usually.
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Old 07-15-11, 06:28 AM   #5
cranky velocist
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Thanks for the encouragement & advice. I'm Doin' it!

I checked the NJ Transit website but I was worried that it would be too easy, too good to be true, especially since none of my friends had tried it.

Once you've gotten used to hopping around town by bike for a few years spending several hours stuck on foot just wont cut it.

Commando303:

"simply so you know you're not in the wrong in case someone tries to call you on being there. "

- In my experience, they'll even try to 'call you' for being in a dedicated bike lane instead of a sidewalk sometimes. Being able to cite a higher power has defiantly gotten me out of more than one jam before.
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Old 07-15-11, 06:57 AM   #6
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You probably have a full size bike but I see a guy with a dahon almost every morning carrying his bike up the stairs on to Seventh Ave around 9ish. Nobody seemed bothered in that mass of people.
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Old 07-15-11, 06:58 AM   #7
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I take a folding bike on the trains all the time --twice a day, year round-- and have no problem at all. I know, that's not the same as your situation; but there it is anyway. I have also taken a regular bike on the NJT and LIRR trains, including an Xtracycle for which there really wasn't enough room anyway; it is more complicated on account of space available etc but I have not had any problems of the kind you ask about. The basic rule is, I think, do what the conductor says. Whatever he says. If what he says isn't possible, be apologetic and ask his advice. In my experience the conductors are cool people who like to help.
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Old 07-15-11, 09:26 AM   #8
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Also, remember to have a bike pass.
They are $5 and you can buy them at Penn Station. They are life long and can be used for the LIRR and Metro-North.
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Old 07-15-11, 09:49 AM   #9
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I ride the subways and LIRR with my bikes pretty often.

they're allowed, except for a few days out of the year (ex. montauk century, etc).
on the LIRR you need a pass. ($5 on the train or at a window, one-time payment)

on the subway, i usually just go to the first or last car. if it's super crowded, i wait till the next train.
on the LIRR, i shoot for one of the end cars and try to get in one of the handicapped/luggage areas.

even with all that, i still get some people who huff and puff about it. i ignore them. they do not own the train.
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Old 07-15-11, 01:50 PM   #10
cranky velocist
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Thanks everyone. NJ transit doesn't seem to need a pass & a Dahon would make life easier if I had to do it on a regular basis.

I used to commute by PATH every morning for awhile, and I know you couldn't fit a full sized bike on there even if it were allowed.

I'm pretty jazzed about not having to leave my beater at the station with my fingers crossed all night.

I'm off.
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