Tag Archive: multi-modal commuting

Rail User Experiences Wanted

I’ve been asked to do some background research for a railway advisory group. This group is interested in gathering a variety of information for a major rail carrier relating to both recreational cyclists/travelers and multi-modal commuters (bike/rail) for the purposes of developing new stops, routes and procedures for moving bikes and cyclists aboard trains.

Although I’ve spent a lot of time traveling via train (I don’t fly), I’ve never traveled with a bike…nor have I had the opportunity to go multi-modal. Anyhow, what I’m hoping you could provide is your experiences using trains and bicycles together. The kinds of information that would be useful are:

–how are the bicycles stored or secured onboard? In a separate cargo car or mixed in with passengers?
–any fees you might have encountered while bringing a bike onboard
–hits/misses in the experiences you’ve had. Was it good and efficient or a nightmare of logistical headaches…or somewhere in between?
–what was the purpose of your travel: for recreation or for commuting purposes?
–any specific policies or procedures that worked or needed improvement?
–whatever else you care to add about your time onboard

Please indicate where you used a rail service in your comments…and thanks in advance for participating!

Just Ask Jack — Still a Commuter?

One of our readers posted the following questions the other day:

“If you commute to work but bring all your work clothes on the Monday that you drive to work are you still considered a commuter? Lets say that you live oh…36 miles from you job and it takes about two hours to get there (one way) and you park your truck half way — is that still commuting to work?”

The way I see it, you are a bicycle commuter if you do even a portion of your commute via bicycle. I don’t care if you live 10 blocks or 20 miles from your job…as long as you bike, you qualify!!!

Bringing a load of work clothes on Monday (with the car) is a time-honored method many commuters use. It’s not cheating…merely a great way to make sure you look presentable at work. The other four days are on the bike, so don’t even feel guilty if you’re driving that one day…

Multi-modal commuting is quickly becoming a viable way for folks to reduce their impact on the environment, get some exercise and enjoy nature. Quite a few people bicycle to their nearest bus or train station, load themselves and their bikes onto said bus or train and get off at a station close to their jobs. Still others drive their cars partway and ride the remainder. I have a friend and coworker who takes the cross-Bay bus from St. Petersburg to Tampa (Hi David!) and rides his bike to work from the bus depot. He’s getting some fresh air, he’s reducing his impact on the environment and he is saving significant wear and tear (and expense) on his vehicle.

The bottom line is that there is no “one right way” to commute via bicycle. You’ve got to stick with what works for you and discard other methods. Now get out there and ride!

Have a cycling-related question? Just Ask Jack! Click on the link in the right-hand column to send me your questions.