The Chainlink

From Todd Scott's blog, Amtrak will be beginning roll-on service for bikes on its lines to Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing:

 

http://www.m-bike.org/blog/2011/04/28/amtrak-aiming-for-roll-on-bic...

 

Goody! I'll still drive most of the time for the flexibility it gives me, but it does remove an impediment for many people.

 

David

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Unfortunately this is still not a reality. Just a couple of days ago I saw a petition or such to pressure Amtrak to institute roll-on service already. I meant to post a link, and I will if I can find it again. 

David

Heaven comes to he who waits.

-Tears for Fears

David A. Pertuz said:

Unfortunately this is still not a reality. Just a couple of days ago I saw a petition or such to pressure Amtrak to institute roll-on service already. I meant to post a link, and I will if I can find it again. 

David

Hi David, just posted this link to the Windy City Cycling Club's FB page.  Any updates?

David said:

Sorry, I'd heard a well-sourced rumor that an exciting announcement was imminent, but it seems that rumor was overly optimistic.
The petition is what's currently happening with this.
David said:

I am a little confused why you are sending the petition to Amtrak. You should be talking to the Michigan department of trans reps. Amtrak signs yearly contracts with the state to provide state service. Currently in Illinois they have it written in the contract to allow bicycles. You should approach MDOT about them adding this into there contract with Amtrak. Amtrak is not going to offer a service the state is not asking for or willing to pay for.

Don't you think that Amtrak will pass this information along to MDOT if they get a petition with thousands of signatures asking for roll on/roll off bike accommodation?  True, the petition doesn't address MDOT directly, but word gets through I'd think.

jen said:

I am a little confused why you are sending the petition to Amtrak. You should be talking to the Michigan department of trans reps. Amtrak signs yearly contracts with the state to provide state service. Currently in Illinois they have it written in the contract to allow bicycles. You should approach MDOT about them adding this into there contract with Amtrak. Amtrak is not going to offer a service the state is not asking for or willing to pay for.

Have you looked at the petition? It's sponsored by the League of Michigan Cyclists.

Agree. Proponents of roll-on service within Amtrak may even be working with LMC to push this.

Radfahrer said:

Don't you think that Amtrak will pass this information along to MDOT if they get a petition with thousands of signatures asking for roll on/roll off bike accommodation?  True, the petition doesn't address MDOT directly, but word gets through I'd think.

jen said:

I am a little confused why you are sending the petition to Amtrak. You should be talking to the Michigan department of trans reps. Amtrak signs yearly contracts with the state to provide state service. Currently in Illinois they have it written in the contract to allow bicycles. You should approach MDOT about them adding this into there contract with Amtrak. Amtrak is not going to offer a service the state is not asking for or willing to pay for.

Hi Rad,

No new info from me. I ran into Todd over the weekend but didn't ask him if he knew anything new about this since it wasn't on my mind.

David

Radfahrer said:

Hi David, just posted this link to the Windy City Cycling Club's FB page.  Any updates?

David said:

I asked Todd about this this morning, and he told me this seems to be the most recent news on it: http://www.m-bike.org/blog/2012/03/28/taking-the-bike-train-on-via-...

(go to the last graf, where there is mention of this and the MLive article.)

It seems that Amtrak's contracts with MDOT do, indeed, require roll-on service on two lines, but in practice this has obviously not been enforced and so it has dragged out. It does seem that MDOT does not understand the demand for it.

David

jen said:

I am a little confused why you are sending the petition to Amtrak. You should be talking to the Michigan department of trans reps. Amtrak signs yearly contracts with the state to provide state service. Currently in Illinois they have it written in the contract to allow bicycles. You should approach MDOT about them adding this into there contract with Amtrak. Amtrak is not going to offer a service the state is not asking for or willing to pay for.

Here's some more news that, if rather long-term, is at least sort of encouraging:

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120420/FREE/120429982/federa...

This won't affect the likelihood of roll-on service happening any time this year, though.

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