Can I Take a Folding Bike on the Bus? (Are Folding Bikes Any Good?)

In recent years, the popularity of cycling is increasing exponentially. Many people are shifting completely towards cycling as their primary means of transport. However, a few people have to use some form of public transport on their commute. That’s why they start asking can I take a folding bike on the bus? 

Yes, you can take a folding bike on the bus. However, each bike must abide by certain size regulations decided by the respective transport authority. Bicycles aren’t exactly small, and they tend to take up a lot of space. However, the folding bike completely solves that problem by being compact in size and folding up to become super portable. 

Even if you get a folding bike, the size still factors into whether you can take a folding bike on the bus or not. If the bike isn’t small enough to fit inside a bag, then most buses won’t let you bring the bike along with you!

If you’re thinking of taking your folding bike onto public transport and incorporating it into your commute, here’s everything you need to know about can I take a folding bike on the bus!

What are the rules about taking your folding bike on the bus?

Most buses won’t let you bring your folding bike on board unless it’s small enough to fit inside a separate bag. If it’s too large, then many bus conductors will tell you when you’re trying to board that you can’t bring the bike along. 

Additionally, it’s also important for cyclists to ensure that their folding bike is clean when traveling on the bus. If the wheels are wet or dirty, then you’ll need to cover them up somehow before entering the bus. Otherwise, you’ll make the bus dirty and could find yourself being kicked off before you reach your stop. 

It’s also important that you ensure that no bike components are sticking out of the storage bag. You’ll need to use an additional cloth to cover them up if that’s the case. Cyclists also can’t take their bikes onto the upper deck of a bus. 

Essentially, if your folding bike can comfortably fit into a bag, then you can bring it onto a bus with you without any sort of worries. However, if it’s slightly large, then you’ll find yourself in a bit of trouble.    

Can you take a standard bike on the bus? 

While it’s fairly simple to take your folding bike on the bus if it’s compact, people who use standard-sized bikes run into more trouble. You may sometimes get lucky with the type of bus you’re riding, and it could be one that features a bike rack. However, that’s not something that you should bank on happening. 

More often than not, you won’t be able to take your bike aboard the local metro.  However, a few states are working on being more cyclist-friendly and allowing cyclists to bring their bikes on board. 

Alternatively, some buses also feature a bike rack outside on the front bumper. If there’s a bike rack in the front, then they probably aren’t going to allow you to bring the bike on board. Even if the bike has a bike rack on the front or back, it’s unlikely that you’re going to find space. 

How to safely load your bike onto a bus bike rack

If you are among the lucky ones who manage to find space on the bike rack, it’s important that you know how to secure your bike on the rack. Typically, you’ll have to place your bike front wheel facing forward inside the rack. 

Usually, bus bike racks only require you to push the bike in place, and then the wheels will lock in place. However, some buses might feature a support arm that helps lock the bike in place and doesn’t rest on the fender or the frame. 

After loading your bike on the bus rack, ensure that you let the conductor know that you loaded a bike on the rack. 

When you’re unloading, don’t try to force the bike out of the rack cause it might end up damaging both your bike and the rack. Lift the support arm and then open up the rack. Simply slide your bike out from the open rack, and you’ll be good to go. 

While loading and unloading the bike, always remember to load the bike up from next to the curb. 

Generally, in the United States, you’ll be able to carry your folding bike onto any bus as long as it can fit into a bag and doesn’t block up any seats. However, there are some differences in state laws regarding bicycles. Some states are more bicycle-friendly, while others aren’t!

Here’s a breakdown of the rules regarding whether you can take a folding bike on the bus.

Can I Take a Folding Bike on the Bus

Can I take a folding bike on the bus in New York? 

According to the Metro Transport Authority, you can take your standard bike on the bus in New York. Even though a few buses offer bike racks, you shouldn’t rely on the bus to transport your bike. 

However, folding bikes are generally accepted on all buses except the express models. If you bring a folding bike, make sure that it doesn’t block any seats and doesn’t cause any issues in the aisle. 

Can I take a folding bike on the bus in California?

According to California state law, you’re okay to bring your folding bike onto the bus as long as it meets certain size guidelines. If it’s too big, you’ll have to fold the bike up and put it in the bike rack. Los Angeles, in particular, is trying to become more bike-friendly.

Can I take a folding bike on the bus in Texas? 

As is the case with most states, if the folding bike can fit inside a bag and doesn’t take up seat space, you’re okay to bring it onto the bus. Although, on certain occasions, if a bus is too crowded, the driver may stop you from boarding your bike on the bus. 

Dallas, in particular, is trying to make it more accessible for cyclists to carry their bikes along with them on public transport. 

So make sure that you know your route when trying to take a folding bike on the bus. 

Can I take a folding bike on the bus in Chicago? 

The CTA states that folding bikes are good to go on their bases at all times. Every CTA bus features a large bike rack that provides more than enough room for cyclists to store their bikes. It might be easier to store your folding bike on the rack than bring it inside in some cases!

Can I Take a Folding Bike on the Bus

The Breakdown on can I take a Folding Bike on the bus

Essentially, as long as your folding bike isn’t too big, there should be no issues with you taking it onto a bus. Some modern manufacturers are looking to create even more portable folding bikes, and plenty of options are available. 

Some buses have rules against a folding bike being visible while it’s on a bus, so as long as you have a carry bag that conceals the bike properly, you won’t need to worry about getting your bike on board. 

The condition of your folding bike tires also plays a role in whether you can get a bike on board or not. If your bike tires are dirty, the bus driver could potentially ask you not to bring your folding bike on board. That’s why it’s essential to bring a cleaning cloth along with you for these situations. 

Folding bikes represent a new level of portability that other bikes simply can’t match. Given the size of modern folding bikes, they’ll soon reach the level of a standard backpack. You’ll be able to take them on every bus that you find. 

Can I Take a Folding Bike on the Bus

Are folding bikes any good? 

While they might be super portable and you can take them to places where you normally wouldn’t be able to take standard bikes, the question remains are folding bikes any good? 

Ultimately, it depends on the needs of a cyclist, a folding bike is a great pick for people who want to enjoy a decent commuter, and they don’t have a lot of storage space. It’s not just about portability, though. Folding bikes are also a lot of fun to ride. 

If you’re not looking for something that offers you highly competitive performance and can handle off-road terrains, then a folding bike is a good choice.

Summary 

If you’re asking ‘can I take a folding bike on the bus?”, then the answer is that yes you can. However, it needs to be placed securely in a bag or suitcase, and shouldn’t block up an additional seat. 

Make sure that you consult with your local area’s metro system before taking your folding bike onto the bus. Depending on the state and area, there might be different laws regarding what can and can’t come onto a bus!

James Dawson

After learning how to ride a bicycle much later than all the other kids, James Dawson hasn't looked back. The author now actively rides a bicycle as a part of the community cycling group and competes regularly in local competitions. Aside from that, he loves technology and always keeps up to date with the latest cycling tech.

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