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SEPTA Tunes Up Its Cycle Game

John Golden
Public Information Manager

Did you know that 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the design for the two-wheeled bicycle? And since the earliest days of public transportation, people have relied on their feet to get to and from transit stops or stations, but today people using their feet can also mean peddle power.

We have come a long way from what was also referred to as the human propelled "hobby-horse." In fact, today bicycling is a growing transportation mode in the Philadelphia region. Besides being convenient, bicycling can reduce air pollution, decrease vehicle congestion, and promote healthy lifestyles. Best of all, it's a great complement to transit, which has the same positive effects.

"With more bike racks at stations, Indego bike share, and new trails throughout the region, bikes help bring more people than ever within a few minutes of a SEPTA stop," said Lex Powers, Long Range Planner for SEPTA's Strategic Planning & Analysis Department.

And SEPTA is proud to be a bicycle-friendly transit system and encourages bicyclists to use its services to complete journeys to work or to explore the region. Bikes are now an unceasing part of our region and according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP), bicyclists in Philadelphia ride 260,000 miles daily, saving 47,450 tons of CO2 from being emitted by cars each year. The Authority has invested heavily in bike racks throughout its transit system. In fact, bike rack installations have increased 300 percent over the last three years. And all of SEPTA's buses and trackless trolleys are equipped with bike racks; there are 590 bike locking racks at 195 stations throughout the system.

In addition to working with the BCGP, SEPTA has been working with other biking advocates, such as the Delaware County Planning Department and Bike Montco, with the latter taking important steps to make bikes on transit and at train stations easier and more convenient. Specifically, Bike Montco's plan proposes improving bicycle access to the Ambler train station in Ambler Borough. Additionally, within the bicycling to school focus area, Bike Montco proposes improving the bicycle-transit connection at Montgomery County Community College (Whitpain Township). The plan promotes installing wayfinding signs on campus to encourage students to ride their bikes between campus and Gwynedd Valley Station. In conjunction with this, the plan proposes creating a more direct connection between the station and the existing Crossways Trail.

In 2015, SEPTA published its Cycle Transit Plan, which promotes cycling to transit, bicycle storage at transit stops and the transporting of bicycles on transit vehicles. In fact, in Montgomery County, the 45 SEPTA and Amtrak rail stations in the county have a combined total of about 300 bicycle spaces.

Before hopping on a train, trolley or bus, here are some interesting facts surrounding bikes:

Did you know?

  • Wearing a bicycle helmet provides protection against severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), reduces facial fractures, and saves lives.
  • Bikes are welcome on Regional Rail during off-peak hours, such as weekday evenings after 6:30 pm, midday weekdays between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and all days on weekends.
  • Bikes are welcome on the Broad Street Line, Market Frankford Line, and Norristown High Speed Line on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., weekday evenings after 6 p.m., and all weekend long.
  • All buses have bike racks, and you can use them at any time. Note that full-size bicycles are not allowed inside buses.
  • No full-size bicycles are permitted on trolleys.
  • Folding bikes are permitted on all vehicles, but crowding may restrict their acceptance. Click here for a quick video tutorial on how to load and unload a bike on a SEPTA bus.
  • Since its 2015 arrival, Indego bike-share has expanded to more than 130 stations and 1,300 bicycles by year's end, including more than four dozen that were added recently at SEPTA's NRG Station in South Philly.
  • The walkway on the Ben Franklin Bridge is open to bicycles and pedestrians 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; open until 9 p.m. from May to September. During inclement weather, the bridge walkway may be closed.
  • The sidewalk on the Tacony Palmyra Bridge is open 24 hours (weather permitting), but you are required to walk your bicycle across the bridge.

Click here for more information about bikes on area bridges.

For more information about SEPTA's sustainability initiatives, as well as, biking and transit, be sure to visit

All SEPTA buses and trackless trolleys are equipped with bike racks.

There are 20 U-racks at Tasker-Morris Station in South Philadelphia capable of holding 40 bikes, with a total of 590 bike locking racks at 195 stations throughout the system.

Dozens of brand new Indego bike share docking stations were recently installed at NRG Station on SEPTA's Broad Street Line.

A biker and a SEPTA bus share the road on Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia.

Bikers utilize a couple of the dozens of bike racks at Tasker-Morris Station on the Broad Street Line.