There are two ways to look at the news that Amtrak will soon require a reservation and $5 to bring a bike on board a Pacific Surfliner train. Option one: "Phew! What a relief to know there will be room for my bike on the train I'm planning to catch." Option two: "Those bastards! Commuting with my bike is going to cost an extra $1,250 a year." (Or option three: "Who cares! I hate both bikes and trains.") Amtrak's PR team is no doubt pulling for option one, but the gang at Streetsblog is firmly in camp two--they also note that the reservations can only be made at a ticket window and not online. The Surfliner, which runs from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, "serves the most popular bicycle tourism route in the country, so it's frustrating to see Amtrak California antagonizing what would otherwise be one of its most loyal customer bases," says Eric Bruins of the LA County Bicycle Coalition. While a nuisance (and a potentially expensive one at that), the Surfliner isn't being singled out for special treatment here; a similar policy is in effect for the Cascades line in Oregon and Washington, as well as on other Amtrak lines. Obviously those bike share kiosks can't get to Union Station fast enough.
· Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner Adopts Wildly Anti-Bicycle Policy [Streetsblog]