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Bike & Ride

Bike & Ride

It’s easy to bike around Chicago with CTA’s Bike & Ride initiatives.

Bicycles are welcome on CTA buses and trains throughout the year. You’ll also find bike racks at or outside most CTA 'L' stations... and bikes ride free, with any paying customer!

Use this guide to learn about using CTA with your bike, or, view our Bike & Ride Guide to Chicago (.pdf) brochure.

 

On this page...

 

Taking your bike on the CTA 

On the bus

You can take your bike on CTA buses at all times, every day, all year.

All CTA buses are equipped with bike racks, located on the front of the bus. Most regular, two-wheeled bikes fit into the racks.

How to bring your bike on the bus

 

On 'L' trains

Bicycles are permitted on all CTA trains (The 'L') every day, except during weekday rush periods (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.). Bicycles are not allowed on certain days when trains are expected to become very crowded, such as July 4, or otherwise when trains have become full/crowded. Please follow station or train crew instructions.

Up to two regular bicycles are allowed inside each car.

If you need help getting your bike in and out of a station, see a Customer Assistant or other station attendant for assistance.

How to bring your bike on the train

 

Parking your bike

Bicycle parking racks are installed outside most CTA rail stations, and street parking is available near almost all of them. For improved security and weather protection, racks have also been installed indoors or in sheltered locations at over 80 stations.

Visit our System Guide to pick a train station and see if indoor or sheltered parking is available at your station.

  • Please park and lock your bike in a way that allows other cyclists to also share the rack. 
     
  • CTA bicycle racks are intended to provide for the temporary storage of bicycles. They are available on a first come, first serve basis. 
     
  • Bicycles parked at CTA facilities that appear to be abandoned may be identified tagged for removal. The owner will have seven days to remove his/her bicycle. 
     
  • Cyclists are prohibited from securing bicycles to handrails, railings, doors, ramps and stairways, or in any way blocking access to and from stations. Bicycles in violation of these regulations and/or creating a public safety hazard will be tagged and removed without notice. CTA will store these bicycles for 30 days. When in doubt, cyclists should ask CTA Station personnel.
     
  • If you believe your bicycle has been removed from a station, please talk to the local station agent or call 1-888-YOUR-CTA and ask for the Bike and Ride Program Manager.
     
  • To suggest the installation of bicycle parking at a CTA station, call 1-888-YOUR-CTA or send us feedback online.

 

Abandoned Bikes

Abandoned bicycles are unsightly and reduce available parking. If you see an abandoned bicycle, please report it to 1-888-YOUR-CTA or CTA Feedback. Please be prepared to describe the station and location of the abandoned bicycle.

A bicycle shall be deemed abandoned if it: (1) is in such a state of disrepair as to be incapable of being operated in its present condition, or (2) has not been moved or used in more than fourteen days and bears physical indicia of having been deserted. 

  • Any bicycle deemed abandoned will have a notice affixed to it which informs the bicycle’s owner that the bicycle appears to be abandoned.
     
  • This notice shall indicate: (1) a telephone number for the owner to call to inform the CTA that the bicycle is not abandoned; and (2) the date after which the bicycle may be removed if it is not claimed by its owner.
     
  • A bicycle shall not be deemed to be abandoned if the owner of the bicycle, within seven days of the affixing of a notice of abandonment, notifies the CTA that the bicycle is not abandoned or removes the bicycle from CTA property. 
     
  • If a bicycle is not relocated or claimed by its owner within seven days of the affixing of a notice of abandonment, that bicycle may be removed and disposed of by the CTA.
     
  • After the abandoned bike is removed, it is stored in a CTA warehouse for a short time.

 

Tips & other things you should know

  • Anyone 14 years or older may bring a bicycle on a train or rack-equipped bus. An adult must accompany customers 12 and 13 years old. Children under 12 are not permitted to bring bicycles on CTA trains or buses.
     
  • Bicycles are permitted only on railcars with sliding doors (look for the green decals near the doors indicating that up to two bicycles are allowed). Most railcars can accommodate bikes and at least two cars per train can. Bicycles cannot be brought on cars with the narrow sets of double doors that which swing inward when opening.
     
  • Let other customers board the train first. This reduces the chance of someone tripping over your bicycle.
     
  • Priority seating is intended for seniors and customers with disabilities.
     
  • If a rail station or a train is evacuated, leave your bicycle behind to ensure a swift and safe exit for you and all other customers. Store your bicycle on top of or in between seats and out of the aisles.
     
  • To ensure proper safety of all customers, Chicago Police and CTA personnel may restrict bicycles from being brought on trains. This may happen if your bicycle is obstructing customer movement or there are already two bicycles in one car. Please follow their instructions.
     
  • There is bicycle parking at many CTA rail stations. If trains are crowded or you don’t want to bring your bicycle on the system, utilize the approved parking area and ride the train.
     
  • Cyclists assume all responsibility for any damage and/or injury that occurs as a result of their bicycle being on CTA property. This includes injury to the cyclist or other customers. A sudden stop by the transit vehicle does not remove responsibility from the bicycle owner for damages or injuries to other customers or themselves.
     
  • Folding bicycles are allowed on CTA vehicles at all times.
     
  • Motor-powered bicycles of any kind are not permitted on the CTA. 
     
  • Riding bikes anywhere in station areas is strictly prohibited.
     
  • For questions or comments, please contact us.

 

Share the Road

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Transit Authority partnered to create this training video for bus operators and bicyclists on how to safely share the road.

Share the Road - Buses and Bicycles (Open Captioned) from Chicago Bicycle Program on Vimeo.

 

Bikes on Metra and Pace

Our sister transit agencies, Metra (metropolitan commuter rail) and Pace (suburban bus) also allow bicycles on their services.

 

Cycling Links

 

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