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On the bus

Bike & Ride: On the bus

All CTA buses are equipped with bicycle racks.

There are two types of bicycle racks on CTA buses — Byk Rak and Sportworks models. They differ by the color of their support arms; Byk Rak (red wheel support arms) and Sportworks (yellow or black wheel support arms).

  1. Remove large baggage, such as panniers, from your bicycle before loading your bicycle on the rack. All baggage must accompany you on the bus.
     
  2. For All Racks: Alert the bus operator that you will be loading your bicycle. Lower the rack by squeezing the center handle. If another bicycle is in position, the rack will already be lowered. If the bicycle rack is full, please wait for the next bus.
     
    • Byk Rak (red wheel arms) only: While supporting the bicycle with one hand, swing the red bicycle support arm outward and down to clear the wheel well:

      photo: Byk Rak: swing red support arm out before mounting bicycle

       
  3. Lift your bicycle so it sits in the empty wheel well. If yours is the first to be loaded, load it in the position nearest the bus, with the front wheel facing the curb. If yours is the second to be loaded, load with the rear wheel facing the curb in the front position.
     
    • Byk Rak only: Swing the bicycle support arm over the front tire to hold the bicycle in place:

      photo: Byk Rak: raising wheel support arm over wheel front
       
    • Sportworks only: Pull the spring-loaded support arm out and upwards. Fasten it over the front tire at the highest point of the wheel to hold the bicycle in place. Locks may not be used to secure bicycles to racks. If you are concerned about the safety of your bicycle, lock your bicycle’s front wheel to the bicycle frame before the bus arrives

      photo: raising Sportworks arm over bicycle wheel


      Video Demonstration


       
  4. Board the bus. Pay your fare. It is recommended that you sit or stand near the front of the bus and watch your bicycle while you ride the bus.
     
  5. When you come to your stop, exit the bus at the front. Tell the operator that you’ll be removing your bicycle. Unload your bicycle.
     
  6. Byk Rak only: Return the red bicycle support arm to the wheel well.
     
  7. If no other bicycles remain, stow the rack against the bus in the upright position:
     
    photo: raising rack to upright position when empty

 

Helpful Tips

  • While waiting at a bus stop with your bike, stand near the bus stop sign as a bus approaches.
     
  • You may not lock your bicycle to the rack on the front of a bus. If you would like added security, simply lock your front wheel to the frame of your bike before the bus approaches.
     
  • Use the available rack position closest to the bus.
     
  • After mounting your bike, you can give your bike a quick shake to make sure it’s fully in place.
     
  • Non-standard bikes that are tall enough to obstruct a bus operator’s view, recumbent bikes, tandem bikes, or bikes that won’t fit into the rack may not be taken on the bus. Items that protrude from the bicycle, such as flags/poles are not allowed. Motorized bikes are also prohibited. We appreciate your cooperation.
     
  • Folding bikes should be folded and taken with you onto the bus.
     
  • When travelling with your bike on a bus, ride near the front of the bus and exit through the front door (we know—this is contrary to how we usually ask you to move to the rear). This makes it easy for you to keep an eye on your bicycle and to notify the driver when you wish to exit the bus and take your bike off the rack.
     
  • If you notice any problem with a rack, notify the bus operator and wait for the next bus—it’s best for everyone’s safety (as well as for the well-being of your bike!).
     
  • If you need help, the bus operator may not load your bike for you. However, they may offer you advice or directions while you mount your bike.

For an overview of all Bike & Ride options, see our Bike & Ride overview.

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