Thursday, March 01, 2012
This great news from Vt Bike and Ped coalition:
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.
Additional great rail news: Note that anyone who travels within Vermont on Amtrak can take advantage of a same-day 50% discount. All that is required is that you reserve 24 hours in advance and that you refer to promotion code V383. When making a reservation, skip the automated attendant and speak with an agent. Don't be discouraged if the agent is unaware of this particular promotion. Be persistent and patient. Remember, though, that the discount applies for same-day travel within the state of Vermont in 2012. This discount may carry over into 2013 but it will likely have a different promo code.
With the options to purchase a ticket at a 50% discount and roll your bike onto the train, many travel possibilities open up. 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.
We will now be able to participate in the Western Mass Fleche rides by riding our bikes to Westfield Mass and then taking the train home... Perhaps even a NYC Fleche! This has been a long time coming... and always painful to see those empty Amtrack trains rolling through Vermont with no bicycles allowed. ( not even folders!)