MDOT MTA Bicycle Policy
Rack & Roll Program
Bikes On Rail
Stay Safe
Bike Racks & Lockers

MDOT MTA Bicycle Policy

Bicycles on MDOT MTA is one of the Maryland Transit Administration's Go Green programs keeping our state on the move while fostering a healthy environment. Public transportation and bicycles provide more mobility options to everyone, help improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. In Maryland, public transportation and bicycles can and do work together to allow for longer trips. That’s smart transportation –the ability to move seamlessly between transit modes in a healthy, enjoyable manner. Bicycles are permitted on Light Rail and Metro Subway, except on crowded trains. No bicycles are allowed on board MDOT MTA Buses. Local Buses are equipped with bicycle racks above the front bumper to carry up to two bicycles. Motorcycles, mopeds, battery-powered or gas-powered cycles are also not allowed on MDOT MTA vehicles.  You must be 18 years of age or accompanied by an adult who is 18 years of age to bring a bicycle on MDOT MTA modes. No more than two bicycles are permitted per wheelchair-accessible transit vehicle. To get the most out of biking, stow your bicycle at an MDOT MTA-provided bicycle rack or locker located at stations and stops along the system.

BI-CY-CLE

72 Inches Long 30 Inches Wide 48 Inches High

A vehicle consisting of a metal frame on two spoked wheels, one behind the other, and having a seat, handlebars for steering, and two pedals by which it is driven - vi. –cled, -cling, -cles. To ride on a bicycle. –bi’cy·clist n. Bicycles with trailers or training wheels, tricycles, stationary, cargo, or tandem bicycles are not allowed on MDOT MTA services. Motorcycles, mopeds, battery-powered or gas-powered cycles are also not allowed on MDOT MTA vehicles. You must be 18 years old with proof of age or accompanied by an adult who is 18 years of age to bring a bicycle on MDOT MTA services. Only one (1) bicycle per person is allowed on board.

RACK AND ROLL!

Tips for Loading and Unloading a Bicycle Using a Bus Front-Mounted Bike Rack:
Local Buses are equipped to carry two bicycles, although there may be an occasion when a bus in service does not have a bicycle rack. The bicycle racks are very easy to use, designed for cyclists to load and unload themselves. See the steps below for loading and unloading.

Loading
  • To prepare your bike for loading prior to the arrival of the bus, take off loose items, water bottles, chain locks, or any other dangling objects.
  • Stay back as the bus approaches the stop and do not allow your body or bicycle to extend past the curb area.
  • Alert the operator that you will place a bicycle on the rack, and then go to the front of the bus to load the bicycle from the curb side. Please do not step into oncoming traffic to load your bike.
  • If the rack is in the upright position, using one hand, squeeze the handle to carefully lower the bicycle rack while holding your bike with the other hand.
  • Lift the bicycle, fitting wheels into the labeled slot closest to the bus. If it is the second bicycle on the rack it should face in the opposite direction of the first bicycle.
  • The front tire should be in the wheel slot with the padded hook.
  • Raise the padded hook up and over the front tire so the hook rests at the highest point on the front wheel. The hook adds lateral support for the loaded bicycle.
  • Board the bus, pay the fare and tell the operator at which stop you will depart with your bicycle.
  • Enjoy the ride!
Unloading
  • Don’t forget your bicycle is loaded on the bus!
  • Exit from the front door and remind the operator you have a bike to take off the rack.
  • Raise the padded hook off the tire by pulling up and away, and lower it around the tire to its original position on the rack.
  • Lift your bike off the rack.
  • If there are no other bicycles on the rack, return the rack to the upright position by squeezing the handle and folding up the rack until it snaps in to position.
  • Step away from the bus toward the curb and wait for the bus to pull away from the stop before safely beginning your bicycle journey.
BIKES ON LIGHT RAIL AND METRO LINK

Any standard-size bicycle may be brought aboard MDOT MTA’s Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink and MARC Train. When using these services, be sure to:

  • Push or carry the bicycle when on the elevator, inside the station, on the platform or in the train. Never ride an escalator with a bike.
  • If the train is crowded due to morning or afternoon rush hour, sporting events or special events, please wait for the next train.
  • Stay a safe distance from the loading platform edge at all times before boarding trains.
  • Be considerate of other passengers and wait until exiting and entering passengers have cleared the doorway before carrying the bicycle on to the train.
  • Follow any instructions given by transit staff regarding bicycle transport.
  • In the event a bicycle or other property falls into the track area of the Metro Subway system, DO NOT attempt to retrieve it personally. Immediately, approach the Station Attendant for assistance.
  • Place the bicycle in the area reserved for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Be prepared to move the bicycle to make way for seniors and individuals with disabilities who have priority over bicycles. Hold on to the bicycle and keep it out of the way of other passengers.
BIKES ON MARC TRAIN

Full-size bicycles are now permitted on all MARC trains on all three lines.  Identify which railcar to board by looking for the green "Bicycle Entrance" decal or an illuminated green light on the outside of the car. Passengers unable to find an available bike rack will need to wait for the next train with bike storage.

Securing Bicycles

Passengers must bring two (2) bungee cords to secure their bicycles. Not all types of rail cars have racks for bikes. On those that don’t, passengers are required to secure their bikes in the designated area using two bungee cords. MARC train equipment assignments vary day-to-day and your train may have any type of MARC rail car, therefore, you must be prepared to travel and store your bike with bungee cords. Passengers are not permitted to bring their bikes on a railcar that does not have bike racks if they do not have bungee cords to secure their bike.

  • Remove all bags and unsecured items before boarding the train.
  • Passengers must load and unload bikes on their own, which may include carrying bicycles up and down stairs. Conductors cannot assist, including at low-level platform stations.
  • Collapsible bicycles that fold with wheels that come together are still welcome. 
    • Stow folded bicycles so that passenger aisles are kept unobstructed.
    • Folded bicycles are not permitted to be stowed in overhead storage bins.
  • We strongly encourage passengers with full-size bicycles to board and detrain at ADA-accessible stations, noted with the universal symbol of access (wheelchair) in the printed timetable.  These stations feature longer platforms with either level boarding or a platform that is high enough to make the first step onto the train much shorter.  A list of stations is provided here on our website. If you are traveling to Harpers Ferry station or the C&O Canal Towpath, please read important information below.
  • Bikes must be secured in designated areas.
  • Look for clearly marked bike areas.

On MARC IIB and MARC III railcars, look for the illuminated green light on the outside of the car.

  • Bikes must remain in the bike rack while the train is in motion.
  • Bikes may only be removed from the bike rack when you reach your destination and the train has stopped moving.
  • If all bike racks are occupied on a train, please wait for the next train.

On MARC IV railcars, look for the green “Bicycle Entrance” decal on the outside of the car.

  • Secure your bike against the folded bench seats.
  • Bicycles must be secured in at least two (2) points on the bike to prevent shifting or movement of the bike. Hook bungee cords through the eyelets at the top of the seats.
  • Bikes must remain secured while the train is in motion.
  • Sit next to, or near, your secured bike.
  • Only one (1) bike is allowed on each side of the aisle.
  • All portions of the bike should remain behind the line marked on the floor to ensure a clear and safe walkway.
  • Bike may only be removed from securement when you reach your destination and the train has stopped moving.

Travel on MARC to Harpers Ferry and the C&O Canal Towpath

MARC is a great way to get to the C&O Canal Towpath for one of the country's most scenic bike rides.  The best stations to use are Brunswick or Point of Rocks  to board and detrain. These stations are adjacent to the Towpath and allow for level access by bicycle.  The Harpers Ferry, West Virginia station is not owned or maintained by MDOT MTA or MARC Train and is currently not ADA accessible.  It is extremely physically challenging to load and unload bicycles at this station and Harpers Ferry station requires crossing a bridge and ascending/descending steps to reach the towpath. Passengers are reminded that they must load and unload bikes on their own, conductors cannot assist.

STAY SAFE

Staying safe when riding on the roads means watching out for a wide variety of vehicles and audio/visual warning devices. Bicyclists should always watch for transit vehicles and practice the following:

  • When approaching Light Rail or other railroad tracks, always expect a train at any time, from any direction, and on any track in the vicinity.
  • Obey railroad crossing safety devices: that means signals, flashing lights, gate arms, and audible bells.
  • NEVER try to race a train or piece of track equipment through a grade crossing or intersection.
  • Stop, look, and listen before crossing tracks at the designated location. Trains and track equipment move more quickly than they might appear to be moving. If stopped, they may move without warning.
  • Do not rely on sound alone to warn of an approaching train as they can be very quiet.
  • Light Rail trains follow different traffic signals and may move at unexpected times.
  • If you as a bicycle rider cannot see a transit vehicle’s outside mirror, the operator of that vehicle is unable to see you.
  • A cyclist should never pass a bus on the right side at any time since a bus may turn or pull closer to the curb to pick up or drop off passengers.
  • When you pass a bus with its rear angled out in to traffic, pass on the left and look around carefully. Pass the front of the bus with plenty of room in case it pulls out or pedestrians appear.
  • Buses and other large vehicles need more room to negotiate turning corners, so stay away from the rear of a turning vehicle.
BICYCLE RACKS AND LOCKERS

Most Light Rail stops and Metro Subway stations have bicycle racks, as well as many MARC Train stations. Racks are available at no cost. Bike lockers are also available throughout the MTA system at several Light Rail stops, Metro Subway stations and MARC Train stations. For locations where bike lockers are available and for information on renting a bicycle locker, call the MTA Office of Customer Information at 410-767-3999. A $25.00 deposit for the locker key is refundable. The yearly cost of renting a locker is $70.00.

I forgot my bike was on the front of the bus! Now what do I do?

Call the MDOT MTA Transit Information Contact Center 6:00 am – 7:00 pm, Monday – Friday at 410-539-5000 or toll-free 866-RIDE-MTA (743-3682). Or, after business hours, weekdays and on weekends, call the MTA Police 24/7 at 410-454-7720. An MTA Information Agent or MTA Police Officer will ask for specific information about a cyclist’s bus ride such as: bus route number, bus vehicle number (if known), time of day of the bus ride, and where the cyclist exited the bus. Every effort will be made to locate the bicycle and arrange for its return.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

MTA Information - 410-539-5000 or 866-RIDE-MTA (743-3682)

To retrieve or report property that has fallen into the tracks please call MDOT MTA Police at 410-454-7720

Forgot your bike on the bus? Call 410-539-5000 and we will make every effort to locate it and arrange for its return. You will be asked to provide bus route number, bus vehicle number (if known) and where you exited the bus.

Maryland Department of Transportation MDOT Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access
7201 Corporate Center Drive
P.O. Box 548
Hanover, MD 21076
mdot.maryland.gov

Guaranteed Ride Home Program
Once registered in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, bicyclists who ride to work at least two times per week are eligible for up to four free rides home per year in case of personal illness, family emergency or unscheduled overtime. 1-800-745-RIDE (7433) www.commuterconnections.org

State Highway Administration Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
707 North Calvert St., MS 502
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-545-5656 or 800-252-8776 bikes@sha.state.md.us

Baltimore City Bike & Pedestrian Planner
417 East Fayette St., Suite 555
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-396-6858

MTA TTY - 410-539-3497

Bike Maryland
1209 North Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-960-6493 www.bikemd.org

Baltimore Metropolitan Area Bike Routes and Nearby MTA Bus and Rail Connections

NEW BICYCLE COMMUTER BENEFITS ACT
Transportation Fringe Benefit for Bike Commuters

Employers may reimburse employees up to $20 per month, tax free, for "reasonable" expenses related to their bike commute, including equipment purchases, bike purchases, repairs, helmets, and storage if the bicycle is used as a "substantial part" of the commuter's trip to work for the month. If an employee already receives another tax-free commuter benefit for transit, vanpooling or parking, then the benefit is not valid. Ask your boss how to take advantage of the new Bicycle Commuter Benefit. Call 410-767-8750 or visit www.commuterchoicemaryland.com