Taking your bike on MTA subways, buses, and trains

July 8, 2021

    Find out how to travel with your bike on public transit in the New York area.

    Biking in New York

    One of the best ways to get around the city is by bike. You can take advantage of dedicated bike lanes, greenways, and bike-friendly parks. Using our transit system with your bike expands your options. Here’s more about how to do that.

    General guidelines

    • Yes, you can take a bike on the subway. There are some caveats (see below), but in general, you can bring your bike with you on the train.
    • No, you can’t take your bike on a bus. A couple of routes have buses with bike racks, but don’t plan on transporting your bike via bus.
    • Folding bikes can go almost anywhere. They’re not allowed on express buses, but otherwise you can bring them on board.
    • You can bring bikes on NYC Ferry boats. There are bike racks onboard. Buy a $1 ticket for your bike at a ticket machine or in the NYC Ferry app.
    • You can’t ride your bike across MTA bridges or through MTA tunnels. If the bridge has a pedestrian walkway, you can walk your bike across.
    • Don’t lock your bike to transit property. This includes subway entrances and exits. Look for a bike rack instead.
    • Commuter rails have different rules. You need a permit (they’re easy to get and good for a lifetime). And only a certain number of bikes are allowed per train, depending on the time.

    Other guidance by type of transit

    In general

    • Avoid rush hour if you can.
    • Board the train or bus after passengers exit.
    • Stay by your bike, and move it out of the way for other riders.

    On the bus

    • Buses on these routes have bike racks:
      • S53 and S93, in Staten Island
      • Q50, in Queens
      • Bx23, in the Bronx
    • If you bring a folding bike, don’t block seats or aisles.

    On the subway

    • Stand near either end of the subway car.
    • Enter and exit through the station service gate. Swipe your MetroCard, turn the turnstile, and then use the service gate. If you need help, talk to the agent in the station booth.
    • Don’t lift your bicycle over the turnstile. Don’t try to carry your bike through one of the tall entrances or exits.
    • Carry your bike on staircases.
    • Bikes are allowed on the Staten Island Railway at all times except:
      • 6-9 a.m. on weekdays, on St. George-bound trains.
      • 4-7 p.m. on weekdays, on Tottenville-bound trains.

    On commuter rails

    • Bikes are not allowed at rush hour or on holidays.
    • You need a $5 lifetime bicycle permit. Buy these at ticket booths, on trains, or by mail.
    • On weekdays, up to four bikes per trains are allowed. On weekends, up to eight bikes per train are allowed.
    • Look for bicycle trains on weekends. These accommodate more than eight bikes. These trains are indicated on published timetables with a bicycle symbol and a plus sign.
    • Contact LIRR Group Travel at 718-217-5477 if you’re traveling with a group of cyclists.
    Let the booth attendant know you’re taking your bike through the service gate.
    Pay the fare at the subway turnstile.
    Proceed through the service gate.

    Safety tips and laws

    For you (and others)

    • Obey all traffic signals.
    • Yield to pedestrians.
    • Stay off the sidewalk (unless you’re walking your bike).
    • Helmets are recommended for everyone. They’re required for anyone who is 13 years old or younger.
    • Don’t wear headphones. (One earbud is allowed.)
    • Bike and car traffic patterns vary depending on where you are. NYC’s Department of Transportation breaks these down in detail.

    For your bike

    • NYC law requires you to use a white headlight and a red taillight at night.
    • Use a bell (not a whistle) to let others know you’re there.
    • Use a U-lock and/or a heavy chain to lock up your bike. (More locks help prevent theft.) Lock your frame to the bike rack and your wheels to your frame. Secure any quick-release parts, or take them with you.
    On the subway, stand with your bike at the end of the car. Be considerate and move your bike to make way for others when you can.

    Bike parking options

    In many cases, somewhere in your office building.

    If you work in a commercial office building with a freight elevator, the “Bikes in Buildings” law can help you and your employer figure out indoor bike storage.

    Parking garages

    New York City law requires garages that accommodate more than 100 vehicles to also provide parking options for bicycles.

    Other options

    Oonee provides free bike parking near Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.

    Bike lockers

    Bike lockers are available at these stations on Metro-North lines:

    • Cortlandt
    • Dover Plains
    • Patterson
    • Tenmile River
    • Wassaic
    • Pawling

    Long Island Rail Road bike lockers are managed by 511NY Rideshare.

    Citi Bike for bike-sharing

    The city’s bike-share program, Citi Bike, is a good option for quick trips within the city (if you’re within range of Citi Bike docks).

    Citi Bikes are available in parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

    What it costs

    Citi Bike offers several pricing options, including single trips for $3, a day pass for $12, and an annual membership for $169.