December 10, 2017

Upcoming double-decker SEPTA trains will please cyclists

SEPTA Bikes
Carroll - Cycling in Center City Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A cyclist rides west on JFK Boulevard in Center City Philadelphia, Nov. 2, 2016.

For cyclists who need to take their bikes on SEPTA, the issue of space has been an ongoing problem for cyclists and non-cycling passengers alike.

In Regional Rail trains, for example, some bikes can clog up where three or four people could have been sitting. The headache is particularly worse during rush hour.

Earlier this year, PlanPhilly reported SEPTA approved the purchase of 45 multi-level rail cars for some of the busier Regional Rail lines, though we won’t see the first of them on the tracks for a couple years, in late 2019. You can expect the full fleet completed in 2020.

Among the most pleased with this news is the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, which noted that the new trains will make it easier for cyclists to meet the guidelines of bike storage. SEPTA reported that each of the train cars will include at least two “bicycle retaining devices” -- so, bike racks -- on the first level.

“A 29-inch model bicycle shall be used for design purchases,” SEPTA said.

“The device shall be easily engaged and disengaged. The location of the device shall not impede passenger flow in the stored position nor shall it allow the bicycle itself to become an obstruction that may cause injury to passengers.”

This may help out cyclists from floundering to find a spot for their bike without displacing other passengers, plus it could help make carrying bikes on and off the train a bit easier.

Now just two (or three) years before this plan is a reality.