Amtrak: Leave your car, bring your bike

By Matt Butterman

Philadelphia has long been regarded as one of the best cities to ride your bike in and around, but getting here is another story. One of the best ways to reach the city is by train. You can avoid the inevitable back-ups and tolls on Interstate 95, and now it’s easier than ever to bring your bike on Amtrak, another one of our great sponsors.

Specially-adapted baggage cars with racks for bicycles have long been a mainstay of European train travel, and Amtrak has now taken their lead on this side of the Atlantic. Not all trains have this capacity, however, and the number of spots is limited on each train (sometimes only 4-6 spots are available on each train). Carry-on bike service is available on select trains, and checked bicycle service (no need to box the bike) is available on select long-distance trains for a fee that varies by train from $10-$20. Still more trains allow checked, boxed bicycle service for a standard fee of $10, although you will have to take off pedals and turn handlebars to fit your bike inside the box that Amtrak provides.

The key to bringing your bike on Amtrak is to book your trip early to avoid having the trains run out of bike slots, and to schedule your trip to take routes/trains that have bicycle service. Amtrak has a page at their website dedicated to their bicycle service, and it gives you all the details you’ll need to know about bringing your bike on board Amtrak this fall, and leaving your car at home.

Take advantage of Northeast Regional Saver Fares to Philadelphia when you book your trip at least 14 days in advance. These fares offer a 25% savings on the lowest available fares, and children travel for half of the discounted adult fares. Use this booking link to take advantage of these special fares.