There are plenty of times that I have ridden from our apartment to the downtown area and it is all downhill. The problem is that after walking downtown for several hours I am too tired to ride my bike all the way back up the hill. So the question I have is, “How to take folding bikes on buses?” I have done some research and here is what I have found out about taking folding bikes and regular bikes on buses in Europe, the USA, and Japan.
How to Take Folding Bikes on Buses? In order to take your folded bike on a national bus in Europe, you will need to put it in a case or luggage and meet their respective luggage requirement dimensions. Most national buses in Europe do not allow regular bikes to be transported on their buses. In the United States on Greyhound folding bikes can be put into suitcases and stored under the bus. The maximum total size (length + width + height) is 62 inches (157 cm). In Japan the folding bike needs to be folded in a case or bag prior to going on the bus. Willer Express does not allow folded or regular bikes on their buses.
One thing is for sure, it is easier to take folding bike on bus than a regular bike!
If your folded bike is in a bag it can be carried as normal luggage without any extra charge. Regular bikes are not allowed on national and international bus lines. The two bus lines that cover the most countries are Flixbus and Eurolines. Flixbus luggage cannot exceed 26 inches x 20 inches x 10.5 inches (67 cm x 50 cm x 27 cm).
Europe Metro – Moscow
In Moscow you can take your bike free of charge on buses. You enter through the second door after everyone has exited and store it in the open space across the aisle. For convenience, there is a ticket validator near the second door. You also need to hold the bike so that it does not move around or bother anyone.
EU Metro – Berlin
Folding bikes, which are completely folded, are considered as hand luggage and can be taken along free of charge on Berlin Metro. This includes the underground subway, tram, and buses. Be sure to get a bus ticket and have it while on the bus. It is a common practice for a metro employee to inspect people’s tickets on the buses. I thought the guy was homeless and asking me for money until he pulled out an official ID from around his neck.
EU Metro – Madrid
Folding bikes are allowed on buses, space permitting. Should a wheelchair user or a person with a pushchair wish to get on the bus, the passenger with the bike will have to get off if there is not enough designated space for both.
EU Metro – Rome
Folding bicycles can travel freely every day of the week for the whole duration of the service in Rome. The maximum dimensions when closed are 43 inches x 31.5 inches x 15.75 inches (110 cm x 80 cm x 40 cm).
EU Metro – Paris
Paris does not allow bikes on public transport for the most part; however, if you fold up the bike and put it into a bag or case it could be treated as luggage. You can carry any luggage as long as it does not interfere with other travelers and that you do not impede traffic on the station platforms or in the bus.
EU Metro – Brussels
When completely folded, folding bikes are not included in the present rules because they are considered to be packages.
Folding bikes should be folded and put in a bag or case. They are then treated as luggage and are free of charge.
UK Metro – London
Folded bikes are accepted at the driver’s discretion. The rules are the same for pushchairs and larger items of shopping and luggage.
In the United States on Greyhound folding bikes can be put into suitcases and stored under the bus. The maximum total size (length + width + height) is 62 inches (157 cm).
US Metro – New York City
For NYC Transit Bus and MTA Bus, folding bicycles are permitted aboard local and limited buses at all times. Please fold your bike before boarding and don’t block the aisle or doors. Folding bikes are not allowed on express buses.
US Metro – Chicago
Folding bikes are allowed on CTA vehicles at all times. All CTA buses are equipped with bike racks, located on the front of the bus. It may be easier to use the racks for larger wheeled folding bikes than to fold them and bring them on and off the bus.
US Metro – Los Angeles
Folding bikes with 20 inch or smaller wheels can be taken on board. Make sure your bike is folded and stored under a rear seat so as not to block aisles and doorways.
US Metro – San Francisco
Folding bikes must be folded and kept with you, cannot be placed on or block seats, cannot interfere with customer movement, and cannot block wheelchair access and movement.
US Metro – Dallas
DART Bus website does not cover folding bikes specifically; however if you have a large wheeled bike it can be put on the bike rack if there is space available. It may also be possible to bring in the folding bike if there is space inside the bus. Dallas is trying to improve it biking network so there may be changes since the writing of the post.
In Japan the folding bike needs to be folded in a case or bag prior to going on the bus. One piece of checked luggage is free. However, Willer Express in their luggage policy does not allow regular or folded bikes. Japan Bus Online does not have anything about bikes in their prohibited articles page. Once again, though, I would make sure it fits in a suitcase that falls within the luggage allowance and not advertise their is a folded bike inside. On Willer Express the maximum luggage size is 61 inches (length + height + width).
Can You Bring a Folding Bike on a Bus? Yes, but it is going to be placed inside a small suitcase so you can store it under the bus or in your lap. Be sure to check the local area’s bus system before trying to take on your folding bike in a case to be sure.
What is the best way to ship a bicycle?
In the United States you can ship a bicycle with Greyhound.
Within Europe you can use Eurosender to ship your bike to your next destination.
In Japan, another alternative to moving your bike on a long distance bus ride is to use the takuhaibin delivery service. This will allow you to have the bike picked up at your hotel prior to your bus departure and have it delivered to your next destination.