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Have you ever had a problem taking your folder on a train?

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Have you ever had a problem taking your folder on a train?

Old 02-01-09, 11:12 AM
  #1  
courtesi
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Have you ever had a problem taking your folder on a train?

??
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Old 02-01-09, 11:15 AM
  #2  
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Train, never. Bus, yes.
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Old 02-01-09, 11:27 AM
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I ride Amtrak and Chicago L trains and Chicago Metra trains a lot.

On Amtrak, the policy is that as long as the bike is folded, you can bring it on board as carry-on luggage. If a gate agent or conductor ever gives you lip about it, you should print out the policy and show it to them. That said, it's never been an issue with getting the bike on board... the few times I've had to explain the policy it was more related to not paying the extra bike fee.

On the Chicago L trains, you're not supposed to bring a bike of any kind during rush hour. However, I've found that if the bike is folded, no one will say anything to you.

Metra trains have a similar policy to Chicago L trains. No bikes of any kind on rush hour trains. Again, I've had very little trouble getting on board when the bike is folded.

Beyond that, there have been times when having the bike folded and bagged was the best way to get on a train without raising suspicions despite the fact that policy might have been on my side. Sometimes it's just easier to bag it and not worry about a confrontation... especially if the train is packed. Oh... and your fellow train riders will appreciate a bagged bike on a crowded train.

Which reminds me, I need to get a bag for my Tikit before spring returns.

Oh yeah... as for buses, I only ever had one problem on the bus. The driver forced me to unfold the bike and put it in the rack on the front of the bus. No other major problems that I can recall.

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Old 02-01-09, 04:30 PM
  #4  
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I use Mersey Rail where bikes go free and cycling is positively encouraged.

Not had any problems apart from people sitting on the little fold down seats in the area designated for bicycle storage.... got on the evening train one night last week and there was this woman sat on one of the folding seats.... wheeled the bike towards the storage area and she sat there and watched as I had to fold the bike. Moments later at the very next stop she gets up and leaves. Really annoyed me! As she got off another guy with a full size bike gets on the train.... so as I unfold my bike so there is room to fit his into the rack and I tell him “I’ve just had to fold my bike because there was some stupid woman sat there who waited until I had folded the bike and then got up and left at the very next stop... If she had only said that she was getting off at the next stop I would have happily waited “ I said this pretty loudly so that the rest of the passengers could hear. The other guy agreed with me.... I then said “it’s not as if I have to just the train... I could use my big gas guzzling 4x4, but I choose to do my bit to help save the environment”.... I felt better after that

I can understand it if all the regular seats had been taken, but there were plenty of seats available... and those fold down seats are far from comfortable.


Last edited by PDR; 02-01-09 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 02-01-09, 07:27 PM
  #5  
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I got yelled at by one DC metro station manager for not putting my folded bike in a bag during rush hour (even though the station and trains were relatively empty because I reverse commute).
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Old 02-01-09, 07:34 PM
  #6  
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I bring my folder on our local commuter train and subway frequently here in the DC area. With Metro, bringing on my folder at any time of day has been a breeze. I don't even use a cover (even though it's supposed to be covered) and never have an issue. Just bring it on the elevator and down to the main platform. I do try to avoid the heaviest part of rush-hour, but even then I rarely have trouble.

The commuter trains here (MARC specifically) are a bit more difficult. Folders are allowed on at all times, but the conductors have not been so welcoming. As a result, I rarely ride with my folding bike lately. The good news is that the commuter train higher-ups have acknowledged this problem and are working on a solution for those of us who bring our folders on the train. They are working to establish a designated area of the train where people can put their bikes. The big problem is that the commuter trains are just packed and the conductors are not very nice. At a minimum, the MARC officials have told conductors that they must accommodate cyclists, no matter how crowded the trains are (the vestibules have plenty of room, and the conductors always store luggage and strollers there. However, they are not as willing to accommodate folding bikes).
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Old 02-01-09, 10:08 PM
  #7  
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Never had a problem. NJ Transit and Amtrak are, so far, very good about folders.
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Old 02-01-09, 10:25 PM
  #8  
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Train never, bus seldom, airplane yes
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Old 02-02-09, 04:39 AM
  #9  
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A couple of years ago I was standing in a usual place, in a crowded london train vestibule, by the bin, next to the doors. No chance of getting a seat or inside the carriage. I was leaning back over my folded brommie against the wall to try and minimise the already small space i was taking. When a 'lady' on getting out at Ealing Broadway, walked past me to the door, and on passing me she stamped her high heal hard into my foot and said "thats for bringing a bike onto this train you selfish b*stard" !!!
Wow - did that hurt.

Probably the most annoying thing was she was quite a looker ! I've been looking out for her - see if she reacts the same way when I'm with a Strida which take up slightly less floor space
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Old 02-02-09, 06:54 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
Never had a problem. NJ Transit and Amtrak are, so far, very good about folders.
+1. I ride commuter trains, pretty much every day. The conductors, and most of the passengers, all know me, and there's no problems. One time I left my helmet on the train; the conductor grabbed it and gave it back next time he saw me.
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Old 02-02-09, 12:31 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by nekohime View Post
Train, never. Bus, yes.
I always make a point to bag the bike no matter how compact it folds. Then I pass it off as luggage. End of problem.
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Old 02-02-09, 08:24 PM
  #12  
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Amtrak in New York City has given me problems only if the bike is not in a bag. Otherwise, I never had a problem.
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Old 02-02-09, 08:54 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
I always make a point to bag the bike no matter how compact it folds. Then I pass it off as luggage. End of problem.
I just had a look through your flickr photos and didn't see a single bagged bike on public transport. Did you remove the bag for these photos?
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Old 02-03-09, 09:06 AM
  #14  
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I only had a minor problem once, when the bus turned up 5 minutes early, just as I was cycling to the stop. He told me there's no way I can take a bike on the bus. I told him, hang on a minute, you'll see... He was impressed by how small the Brompton went, but, perhaps to save face, he said I still couldn't take it unless it fitted in that rack - pointing at the smallest one, which he was convinced was too small. So, with a big smile, I popped it in, where it fitted perfectly. Then we got to talking about the bike, completely disregarding the sign that forbids talking to the driver when the vehicle is in motion. Well, he started it, and there was no-one else on the bus!
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Old 02-03-09, 10:36 AM
  #15  
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Never had a problem with my 2 hour commute into London by train, haven't tried buses yet as I prefer to cycle
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Old 02-03-09, 12:22 PM
  #16  
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No problems here on Amtrak out of NYC.
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Old 02-03-09, 12:40 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
I just had a look through your flickr photos and didn't see a single bagged bike on public transport. Did you remove the bag for these photos?
Actually I did. When I was photographing the different bikes on different days, I felt that a bagged bike would defeat the purpose of the photos-showing the bikes, not bags, on public transit. So when there were no conductors/security/police around, I removed the bag, placed it in my backpack, and take the pictures. The only problems I experienced was photographing the Piccolo on the subway:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/351127241/in/set-72157594325178229/

I quickly pulled off my cover as usual, stuffed in the the pictured backpack on the seat, photographed the bike as in the photo, and prepared to exit the subway. It was the last stop for the subway before it went into the underground cavern or wherever they store the out-of-service trains. The doors closed faster than I expected. I had to be escorted off the train by security. Don't worry, no one noticed the bike even uncovered. So the moral of the story is I really do prefer to keep the bag or slipcover on at all times. MTA does not wait for anybody.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 02-03-09 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-03-09, 01:03 PM
  #18  
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Despite containing the word "bicycle" in it, a "folded bicycle" is no more a bicycle than a wheelchair, segway, a shopping cart, or any other arbitrary wheeled device because a bicycle, by definition, must have both wheels in tandem. If anyone ever hassles you simply advise them to call the police who will clarify that your package is not legally a bicycle (and if they aren't willing to call the police then there's nothing they can do to stop you anyway, so it doesn't matter).
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Old 02-03-09, 02:15 PM
  #19  
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when u say train...please be more specific. in nyc...u can bring a bike to the subway(the tube for u uk folks) with no problem folded or unfolded. i know u can do the same in los angeles subway system also...i see ppl bringing the big ass bike into the la subway system. there is even a dedicated section in the car for those bike unlike nyc subway.

if u mean train like amtrak (national rail for u uk folks), then in nyc...amtrack stated on their website that the bike must be packaged in a box. but with a folded bike...i think a slip cover may just work as well.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:53 PM
  #20  
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I'm still in the folding bike research phase, but I can't imagine getting much of anything onto the central line in London during the morning rush. I lived there a while and would have to wait for xseveral trains to pull up and leave just to take enough people off the platform and leave me ready to barely squeeze onto the third!
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Old 02-09-09, 04:37 PM
  #21  
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It depends on the location.
It seems that somebody in Bruxelles decided that if it is a folding bike that folds as big as the Strida then you can take it in the train for free. Most of the EU country railway companies comply with this rule. We have some problems down here in Italy about this, because they messed up the wording and it is not clear if it should pay or not.
Once in Taiwan I had a surprise. I was with a Birdy. At the train station they told me, absolutely not allowed on a train even if it would have been in a bag, regardless if the train would have been local or long distance. On the other hand I had no problems with the buses (the long distance one). In any case in Taiwan bus is better then the train.
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