That open transparent process (and the feel good cooperation) was negated by the second recommendation - A back room add-on that appeared for a vote with little public notice, NJ TRANSIT announced new weekend restrictions for bikes. Trains that destine for New York Penn Station between 9 and 12 AM and Trains that depart NY Penn between 5 and 8 PM will no longer allow bicycles. Note that trains that start and terminate at Hoboken and Newark are not subject to the weekend restrictions. We can thank NJ TRANSIT board member Regina Egea for making the new rule slightly less onerous. She successfully moved to shave off two hours of weekend restrictions.
For a look at the complete draft policy (with original hours) see page 28 of the NJ Transit Board Meeting draft agenda.
|The crazy quilt of NJ TRANSIT Bike on rail rules can make an attractive pair of Christmas Stockings|
There was clearly no science applied to the new restrictions, instead the board deferred to the antiquated rules of New York's MTA, which have changed little since their creation in the 1980's. On an average weekday 276,459 trips are taken on NJ TRANSIT trains. On Saturdays the ridership decreases by 65% TO 95,420 trips and on Sunday that number is just 75,418 or a 72% decrease in ridership.
As experienced bike on rail users know conductors already have the latitude to restrict bikes on trains and they are not afraid to turn passengers with bicycles away if the train is crowded.
And so the crazy quilt of New Jersey Transit bike rules acquires another patch right next to:
- No bikes on Major Holidays
- No bikes on the day before all Holidays
- No bikes on the day after Thanksgiving
- No bikes on the eves of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
- Bikes are allowed at all times on the Atlantic City Rail Line
In the meantime plan your trips accordingly and keep a copy of the rules in your pocket or on a smartphone.