In a letter to Joseph H. Boardman, President, Amtrak, Rail*Trains*Ecology*Cycling, along with 70 co-signatories, asks Amtrak to draw on the success of the California Amtrak lines “in devising simple, low-cost ways to accommodate bicycles on all Amtrak trains nationwide.”
“An indication that Amtrak would support bicycle policy changes if adequate resources were provided by Congress to safely accommodate bicycles would greatly enhance chances of passing such a bill. Rail*Trains*Ecology*Cycling’s interest in this matter is not only to help ease encumbrances on the cycling community, but also to help Amtrak draw new riders among people who presently do not take Amtrak precisely because they cannot bring a bicycle on board. Changing that policy and designing and installing accommodations for unboxed bicycles on Amtrak will be one small, but significant step toward reducing America’s carbon footprint.”
The synergistic role between bicycles and trains elegantly and efficiently addresses the “last mile problem.” If travelers reside or work too far away to reach their local rail station on foot, they need a way to get from their point of origin to their embarking rail station; they must also get from their terminal rail station to their final destination. Although rail stations are usually located in urban cores, bringing the traveler within walking distance of a multitude of commercial and cultural attractions; many destinations are not walkable, but reachable by bicycle. In cases where destinations are outside “walksheds,” travelers often rely on taxis, which not only contribute to congestion, but also a disproportionate share of carbon emissions and travel-related expenses. A bicycle provides a healthy, sustainable alternative to taxis that will continue to serve the traveler for the duration of his or her stay in the destination city.
For more on this story, visit: Bikes-on-Trains letter to Amtrak President.