Amtrak Route is Getting Bicycle-Friendly

AmTrak-TrainPassengers on the Amtrak Blue Water route that stops in Flint can bring along their bicycles starting this week.

 

The Michigan Department of Transportation said in a news release that starting Sept. 6, bicycles can be transported on trains that run daily between Port Huron and Chicago via Flint, East Lansing and Kalamazoo.

“Uniquely in the Midwest, rail cars on the Blue Water have been modified to create an area to securely carry up to four bikes per train on a popular route that serves two large state universities (Michigan State and Western Michigan) and several bicycle-friendly communities,” the MDOT announcement says.

There is an additional $10 charge for transporting a bike, and Amtrak could expand the program depending on its popularity, according to a statement from Derrick James, Amtrak director of government affairs for the region.

More than 3,500 cycling enthusiasts signed an online petition, asking Amtrak to allow bicycles on passenger trains, according to change.org.

“Michigan has seen a large increase in the use of bicycles in recent years. Bicycle tourism is a rapidly growing industry, and Michigan has an extensive network of trails that help bring cyclists into the states,” the petition says. “Residents are also using bicycles as a mode of transportation. Special accommodations need to be made both to the train equipment and to stations to make rail service more accessible to people who are traveling with bicycles.”