Friday, March 2, 2012

From the VBPC
Yesterday, some great rail news came to the bike/ped community. It was announced that passengers will be permitted to roll bikes onto Amtrak trains in Vermont. This change is scheduled to take place in spring or early summer. Amtrak cars, equipped with racks, will allow bikes to hang and be locked. Still to come are the exact starting date of this service and whether or not a fee will be charged. Imagine being able to take your bike in this manner to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC or other Amtrak destinations on this route.

Thanks to Bob Atchinson of VTrans' Rail Division for this news and to all who sent letters lobbying for this change, including Governor Shumlin, Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing, Megan Smith, and Vermont Rail Action Network executive director, Christopher Parker.
The service will be limited to the number of racks per car; seemingly three as indicated in the photo. Making reservations will be key.

Nancy Schulz of VBPC spoke directly with Bill Hollister, is the Principal Officer of Amtrak's Public Affairs Department. Bill explained that Amtrak has selected the "Vermonter" for a study that will examine the feasibility of rolling bikes onto certain types of Amtrak trains that are not equipped with a checked baggage car. It's not known how long the study will take, when and how bikes will be permitted to roll onto the Vermonter, or what fee may be charged for this service. The study is in the very earliest stages and doesn't involve any other train route at this time.

There are discounts for passengers traveling on Amtrak using the Ethan Allen and Vermonter trains and the correct details are as follows: From any Amtrak station in Vermont to any other Amtrak station in Vermont, there is a discounted one-way fare of $12. A reservation must be made at least one day in advance. Note that there are some blackout dates and the discount is contingent upon seat availability. There is also a Visit Vermont Discount of 20% from any destination along the routes of the Vermont trains which requires a three-day advance reservation and also has blackout dates and availability restrictions. Vermont's Department of Tourism and Marketing recommends you access the discounts via:

Let's hear it for multi-modal transportation!

No comments:

Post a Comment