Amtrak - Allow bicycles on Michigan passenger trains
  • Petitioned Joy Spencer Smith

This petition was delivered to:

Amtrak - Superintendent, Passenger Services, Central Division
Joy Spencer Smith
Amtrak - Government Affairs, Director
Derrick James
MDOT - Office of Rail, Director
Timothy H. Hoeffner

Amtrak - Allow bicycles on Michigan passenger trains

    1. League of Michigan  Bicyclists
    2. Petition by

      League of Michigan Bicyclists

      Lansing, MI

September 2013


League of Michigan Bicyclists: Starting Friday, September 6th, bicycles will be accepted aboard the Amtrak Blue Water (Trains 364 & 365), a service sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) that operates daily between Port Huron and Chicago.

Seamless multi-modal connections are essential to a sustainable 21st century transportation system. It should be easy for travelers to make connections from one mode of transportation to another to easily and safely link trips. One great example is the potential for train travelers to travel from community to community and then bicycle to their final destinations.

Many Amtrak routes across the county offer roll-on bike service allowing passengers to bring a bicycle on board train cars without having to check them as boxed luggage. Unfortunately, no Michigan Amtrak lines currently allow for bicycles on board, nor checked as luggage, including the Blue Water, Wolverine, and the Pere Marquette. The Wolverine & Blue Water routes normally use the same train equipment as Downstate Illinois Service and the Missouri River Runner, both of which allow for bicycles on trains.

Our state is home to a number of bicycle tours in or near Michigan communities serviced by Amtrak. By adding bike facilities on Amtrak trains, many Michigan communities could benefit from increased tourism spending, particularly from vacationing Chicago residents. Without options to bring bicycles on board, Michigan is losing out on significant travel-related spending generated by bicycle tourism. In addition, commuters traveling within Michigan would also have additional transportation options.

In addition, the recently adopted Michigan State Rail Plan makes the clear recommendation that bicycles need to be accommodated on Michigan passenger trains:

“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. 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. When appropriate and feasible, older rail cars should be retrofitted and new rail cars should be built to accommodate bicycles through on board bike racks. Provisions for both short and long-term bike parking should be made at passenger rail stations across the state.”

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 3,500 signatures
    2. Roll aboard! What ever happened to the promise of bike racks on trains?

      League of Michigan  Bicyclists
      Petition Organizer

      DETROIT—In some states, Amtrak riders bicycle to their respective stations, roll their bikes aboard and, upon arrival, ride them off to their destination. In others, riders can pack a disassembled bike, a bag of golf clubs or a gun as checked luggage.

      Yet Michigan Amtrak routes lack checked luggage accommodations and feature museum-worthy trains with limited space. As a result, bicyclists, pistol-wielding or not, have to leave their bikes at home.

      But after years of delays and hearsay, bikes onboard Michigan trains may soon finally be a reality, officials say.

      Designing solutions

      Thomas C. Carper, chairman of the board for Amtrak, recently penned a cheery letter to the League of Michigan Bicyclists outlining bike-friendly developments to Michigan’s antiquated railroad cars.

      Read more:

    3. Bikes on Trains - Just Around the Track

      League of Michigan  Bicyclists
      Petition Organizer

      In response to this petition, Thomas C. Carper, Chairman of the Board for Amtrak sent the League of Michigan Bicyclists a letter on June 25th, 2012 outlining the current status of bicycle accommodations in Michigan for both existing railroad cars needing retrofits, as well as their recent order of new rolling stock.

      Read our blog update for more details:

    4. Reached 3,000 signatures
    5. LMB Delivers Bikes on Trains Petition to Amtrak Board Chair

      League of Michigan  Bicyclists
      Petition Organizer

      LMB recently delivered a petition with over 2500 signatures and 350 public comments from the cycling community to Thomas C. Carper, Chairman of the Board of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), urging them to allow bicycles on board Michigan passenger trains. The petition was delivered on March 22 during the Grand Rapids stop of the Michigan Transportation Odyssey, a three-day journey from Detroit to Traverse City hosted by our partners at Trans4M to highlight the challenges and opportunities of Michigan's passenger transportation system.

      Read More:

    6. Amtrak Chairman Carper says they are considering allowing bikes on trains

      League of Michigan  Bicyclists
      Petition Organizer

      Amtrak Chairman Thomas Carper says the passenger rail service is considering a request to allow passengers to roll bikes onto Michigan trains.

      Amtrak service in other parts of the country, particularly on the east and west coasts, allow riders to roll bicycles onto passenger cars outfitted to stow bikes. Michigan’s rail lines, which also do not allow passengers to check baggage, are not equipped to allow bikes in passenger cars.

      Read more:

    7. Reached 2,500 signatures
    8. Michigan bicyclists petition Amtrak to allow 'roll-on' bicycles on trains

      League of Michigan  Bicyclists
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you Mlive for the nice article about our online petition urging Amtrak to allow bicycles on Michigan passenger trains!

    9. Reached 1,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lawrence Levesque LA CROSSE, WI
      • about 1 year ago

      You'd think this would be a no-brainer, but government officials are probably waiting to be bribed.

    • Vadim Lozovoy HOLT, MI
      • over 1 year ago

      Are you kidding, there is no way to move bike around without a car in Michigan!

    • Paul Janson KALAMAZOO, MI
      • over 1 year ago

      It only makes sense. What bicyclist- most of whom are environmentally conscious- wouldn't want to take a train instead of drive to another city in their state with the freedom to travel around that city on their bike? How many cyclists check out train schedules to their favorite cities and then get curious about whether or not they can take their bikes, only to find that they cant, so they don't? Which means Amtrak doesn't sell a ticket. That's what just happened to me. That's how I found this petition. I'm going to Ann Arbor next week from Kalamazoo to meet with some advisors about attending U of M. How awesome would it have been to take the train in and ride my bike around campus and around the town while I check it out. But, alas, I can't. So I'll drive. I love to bike and I love to travel. I would take the train all over Michigan if I could bring my bike. Down with the single occupancy gas guzzling transit option, up with the public transit, bicycle option!!!

    • Patrick Geiger CHICAGO, IL
      • over 1 year ago

      I'd love to travel the beautiful state of MI via Amrak and bicycle for my next vacation.

    • Nicholas Mukhtar DETROIT, MI
      • over 1 year ago

      We should take every possible step to promote and allow for healthy, active living.


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