Public Transit and Bike Transport
Bicycles are great for getting around, and they can get you just about anywhere if you have the time. When you don't have the time, or the weather is inclement, there's plenty of public transit around Temple to get you where you're going. Unfortunately, all of these transit authorities have different rules for when and how you can ride with your bike. Here we've broken down the rules for taking your bicycle on all of the local public transit in the Temple area.
SEPTA considers themselves to be a bicycle-friendly transit system, and while it may not be Copenhagen, it’s a pretty good start. Generally speaking, bicycles are allowed any time outside of the weekday “rush hours”, which vary slightly from system to system. If you’re lucky enough to have a folding bike, you can just bring it on the vehicle.
Important things to know about using SEPTA to transport your bike:
- Many stations do not have elevators. Be prepared to carry your bike up the stairs.
- On most SEPTA vehicles, bicycles are expected to share space with patrons that use wheelchairs. Always be ready to yield your spot to a wheelchair user, or other person with a disability. Not only is it essential to not behaving like a total jerk; it’s also codified in SEPTA’s rules.
- Even if you are in complete compliance with SEPTA’s bicycle guidelines, vehicle operators and train crews have the last word on whether you can bring your bike on their vehicle. If someone gives you a hard time, just wait for the next train.
- In the event of an emergency evacuation, you must leave your bicycle on the vehicle, and claim it later at 69th Street, or at Suburban Station.
Rules: Every bus has a front-mounted bicycle rack that will hold two bicycles. These racks may be used at any time, without restrictions. Non-folding bicycles are required to use these racks, as they are never allowed to be taken inside of the bus.
How to Place Bike on Bus:
- Remove anything that might fall off, like a water bottle, frame pump, panniers, etc.
- When the bus shows up, tell the driver that you’re going to use the rack.
- Be careful to stay on the curb side, away from traffic.
- Squeeze the handle at the top of the rack to release the latch. The rack will come down.
- Place your bicycle on the rack so that the wheels fit into the labeled slots.
- Raise the support arm over the front tire so that the hook rests at the highest point of the front wheel.
- Get on the bus!
How to Take Your Bike Off of the Bus:
- When you get off the bus, tell the driver that you’ll be taking your bike off of the front rack.
- Stay curb side, away from traffic.
- Raise the support arm away from your front tire, and allow it to fold back down.
- Lift your bicycle out of the rack.
- If there are no other bicycles on the rack, squeeze the handle and close the rack.
- Step on the curb, out of the way of the bus, and let it pass.
- Once it’s safe to do so, hop on your bike and pedal away.
Rules: Bicycles are not allowed on weekdays between 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M., and between 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. Bicycles are allowed during all other weekday hours, as well as on Saturdays, Sundays, and all major holidays.
SEPTA does not make any recommendations as to where to place your bicycle in the subway car, except to say that you should not place your bicycle on the seats. The non-platform side doorway is a good bet.
Rules: Bicycles are not allowed on the Trolleys, except for fully collapsed folding bicycles.
Rules: Bicycles are not allowed on weekday morning inbound trains arriving at any center city station between 6:00 A.M. and 9:30 A.M. Bicycles are not allowed on weekday afternoon outbound trains departing from any center city station between 4:00 P.M. and 6:30 P.M. Bicycles are allowed during all other weekday hours, as well on Saturdays, Sundays, and all major holidays.
Two bicycles are allowed per passenger car, and they must be stored in the area reserved for persons with disabilities. If someone who needs to use this seating area, such as a person in a wheelchair, boards the train, any bicyclist will be expected to move their bike to an unoccupied section of reserved seating. If there are no available sections, the bicyclist will be issued a “continuation of trip” voucher, and will have to wait for another train. Bicyclists are expected to wait until all other passengers have exited the train car before leaving with their bike.
Norristown High Speed Line
Rules: Bicycles are not allowed on the High Speed Line on weekdays between 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M., and between 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M.
Two bicycles are allowed per car, and they must be stored on the rear vestibule
Bicycles are allowed during all other weekday hours, as well as on Saturdays, Sundays, and all major holidays.
Many Temple students live in New Jersey and take the PATCO over. Wouldn't it be nice to skip the Broad/Ridge Spur and ride your bike up from 8th and Market? Well you're in luck, because PATCO has some of the least restrictive rules in the region when it comes to riding with a bicycle.
Rules: Bicycles are allowed on PATCO trains at all times. Cyclists are expected to yield to all other passengers, and to remain with their bicycle, in the doorway on the non-platform side. Elevators are available at 15/16th & Locust, 8th & Market, Broadway, Woodcrest, and Lindenwold. At all other stations, you’ll have to carry your bike down the stairs.
SEPTA's great for getting around Southeastern PA, but if you want to take your bicycle to New York City or down to the shore, you'll need to look into taking the NJ Transit. Here's how their rules stack up.
Rules: Bikes are allowed on buses with bike racks or underfloor luggage compartments at all times on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tandem bicycles and child carrier seats are not permitted on bus bicycle racks.
Rules: Bicycles are allowed on all weekday trains, except for inbound trains that end in Hoboken, Newark, or New York between 6:00am and 10:00am, and outbound trains leaving Hoboken, Newark or New York between 4:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.
On the weekends, bicycles are permitted on ALL weekend lines with the exception of the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast and Morristown lines. On these service routes, bicycles are permitted on all trains with the exception of trains ending in New York between 9:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M., and trains originating in New York between 5:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.
With the exception of the Atlantic City line, Bicycles are not permitted on trains on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday and Sunday following Thanksgiving, and Christmas day. Bicycles are not allowed on the day before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but are permitted on the actual holidays themselves.
Folding bikes are allowed on all trains at all times. Regular bicycles are not allowed on substitute bus service during rail service outages.
Single-level rail cars can accommodate 2 bikes per train. Multilevel rail cars can accommodate 8. NJ Transit crew members have the authority to limit the number of bikes onboard if the train is too crowded or if they believe that it creates an unsafe environment. Additionally, just like on SEPTA, if a person with a disability requires the spot that your bicycle is in, you may need to switch train cars or wait for the next train.
Here is a great video that demonstrates how to secure your bike on an NJ Transit train.