NJ Transit’s much-anticipated Bike Aboard policy, which was released in June of this year, drew mixed reactions from cyclists and advocates. While the policy did away with cyclist bans at stations with low-level train platforms, NJ Transit also barred standard frame bicycles from certain weekend trains (folding commuter bikes are always allowed), citing concerns about overcrowding. Some saw the new policy as more restrictive than the previous one, and advocates pointed out that the overcrowding could be alleviated by opening up unused rail cars to cyclists. It seems that NJ Transit has heard them.
Earlier this week, NJ Transit announced an addendum to its bike policy, which introduces “bike-friendly” trains on Saturdays and Sundays. Starting on August 11, Raritan Valley Line trains, Atlantic City Rail Line trains, and trains traveling to and from Hoboken Terminal will be able to accommodate 12 bikes per train on the weekends—empowering NJ Transit staff to open unused rail cars to make room for bikes on these trains.
With this announcement, NJ Transit says there will be a total of 418 bike-friendly trains on weekends on the Raritan Valley, Main/Bergen County, Pascack Valley, Gladstone, Montclair-Boonton, and Atlantic City Rail lines. On the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, and Midtown Direct lines, an additional 273 weekend trains will not be designated “bike-friendly,” but they will be able to hold two bikes per car.
New timetables, scheduled to come out in October, will indicate which trains are bike-friendly.