Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation will offer walk-up checked bike service aboard the Pere Marquette at the Chicago, St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Holland and Grand Rapids stations for only $10, starting May 6.
Reservations Required: Bicycle reservations are required and bike tickets must be presented to the conductor when boarding the train. Passengers can reserve space for their bikes by selecting “add bike” when they book their train travel on Amtrak.com, by calling 1-800-USA- RAIL (1-800-872-7245) and at Amtrak ticket offices. Passengers can also make reservations at the Chicago ticket office and at Quik-Trak® ticketing kiosks at Chicago, St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Holland and Grand Rapids. Bike reservations cannot be made through Amtrak mobile apps. Only one bike is permitted per person.
Passengers will be provided a bike tag by station employees in Chicago and by the train crew at St. Joseph-Benton, Harbor, Holland and Grand Rapids. Passenger must present their bike tag at the baggage car to retrieve their bike from the train crew at their destination.
Arrive Early: Passengers checking bikes must arrive 30 minutes prior to train departure to allow sufficient time to obtain their ticket and baggage tag, and to get their bike to the baggage car.
Eligible Bikes: Only standard size bikes will be permitted. Large seat/saddle bags must be removed from the bikes. These items can be carried on the train and will count as a carry-on item.
Loading Bikes: Passengers must be physically capable of lifting their bike up to shoulder height to an employee standing in the baggage car. Passengers are not permitted in this car. Amtrak personnel will store and secure the bike to the bike racks.
Bicycle service will officially begin via a soft launch on May 6 as Amtrak opens to reservations. Passengers will now be able to get on and off the train with their bicycles in Grand Rapids, Holland, St. Joseph and Chicago without boxing or disassembling their bikes. Each train will have 15 racks. There will be an open house event at the Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station, 440 Century Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 11 to view and experience the new bicycle service on the Amtrak Pere Marquette route.
For the first time ever, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board is asking for comments from the rail-riding public on two important proposed rule-making decisions. One concerns on-time performance standards and the other centers on whether passenger trains can continue to be given preference in transit on host railroads.
This is one of the extremely rare times in which regulators will be watching the total number of comments, so it’s important that the regulators hear individually from all interested rail passengers right away on both actions, but no later than the two deadlines: 2/8/16 for On-Time Performance and 2/22/16 for passenger-train preference. Visit this link for more information: http://www.narprail.org/our-issues/stb-otp/