Today the Chicago Transit Authority announced a Bicycle Access Program encouraging weekend bicycle use on CTA trains. The program will begin this coming Saturday, May 6, 2000. After a successful pilot program last summer, the program has been expanded to a year-round format that will better serve the cyclists of the CTA service area.
"This program allows bicycle enthusiasts to rely on the extensive CTA train network to get to the bike paths on the lakefront and throughout the city. Bicyclists are out in the neighborhoods all twelve months of the year, and this expanded Bike & Ride program now gives them access to another option - no matter the season," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.
The program will be effective 6:00 a.m. Saturday through 12:00 a.m. (midnight) Sunday and holidays, including: New Year's Day, Memorial Day (observed), Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Due to heavy passenger traffic associated with the fireworks show, bicycles will not be permitted on July 3rd.
"Combining these two convenient and environmentally-friendly modes of transportation is a popular option for the serious and casual cyclist alike," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "In one instance during the pilot program, we recorded over 550 bikes on train users throughout the course of a single weekend," she added.
Cyclists ages 18 and over are encouraged to bring their bicycles onto any of the six rail lines that operate on weekends. Children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to board with bicycles and an adult must accompany cyclists ages 12 to 17.
Riders will enter the system through the access gate with the help of the Customer Assistant or security guard. When using the stairs, bicyclists are asked to maintain a large amount of space between themselves and the other customers. When available, elevators should be used. Once inside the station, two bicycles will be allowed per car, riders must hold onto their bicycles at all times, and bicyclists must not block access to the priority space on each car. These guidelines were developed with suggestions from the CTA's ADA Advisory Committee, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, and the Chicago Department of Transportation Bicycle Program.
Permitting bicycles on trains is a part of the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council's ?Bike 2000 Plan," designed to make Chicago more bicycle friendly by the year 2000. The plan calls for improved coordination between mass transit and bicycles.
The ?CTA Bike & Ride? brochure that details the program's regulations will be available at CTA stations throughout the system and on the CTA's website, www.transitchicago.com. Bike information is also available at www.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/Bikes.
For information on all CTA travel, call (888) YOUR-CTA.###