Traveling With Bicycles
- All bicycles carried on board must be clean and free of excessive dirt and grease at all times
- Cyclists may board trains only after all other customers have boarded
- Watch the gap while entering and exiting the train with bicycles
- Cyclists must remain in immediate proximity and in full control of their bicycles at all times
Types of Bicycles
- Single-seat, human-powered, two-wheeled vehicle, with a wheel diameter not in excess of 27 inches and maximum dimensions of 80" in length and 48" in height. These bicycles require a Long Island Rail Road/Metro-North Railroad permit.
- Not permitted: Bicycles in excess of the above dimensions, as well as tandem, motorized, or training-wheeled bicycles, tricycles, or bicycles with any protrusions that could cause injury or damage.
- True folding bicycles do not require a permit, but must remain folded at all times. Folding bicycles may be brought on board all trains. Please see below for details on the folding bicycle policy.
Each bicycle taken on board LIRR trains requires a permit. No more than one (1) bicycle is allowed per cyclist on a train, at a time. Permits are good for the lifetime of the document; however, a new application and fee will be required if the original permit is damaged or lost. We advise against laminating the permit, as the process can render the permit unreadable. Permits are for the individual only and are not transferable; they can, however, be used on both LIRR and MNR trains (you do not need a separate permit for each Railroad). To obtain a permit, customers may:
- At Stations: complete a Bicycle Permit Application and pay $5 (cash, debit/credit or check) at any open LIRR Ticket Office (see Stations for hours) and receive a permit on the spot that day
- On Board: pay $5 on-board (cash only) and obtain a receipt, which must be either turned in at an open LIRR Ticket Office with application (you will receive a permit on the spot), or mailed in with application
- By Mail: complete a Bicycle Permit Application and mail it with a check for $5
Checks must be made out to: LIRR. Mail completed application, and check or payment receipt, to:
LIRR Bicycle Permits
Jamaica Station, Mail Code 1975
Jamaica, NY 11435
Please allow at least 2-4 weeks for processing. If you need a bike permit sooner, we recommend that you purchase one at a staffed LIRR Ticket Office.
On Train Storage
Cyclists must have a suitable cord/chain to secure the bicycle on the train at all times. Bicycles must remain in the immediate custody of the cyclist, who will be responsible for their safekeeping and will secure the bicycles so that they do not pose a hazard to customers. Bicycles cannot block aisles or impede passenger movement. Cyclists must be able to move the bicycle at the request of a LIRR Employee or Police. The kickstand of the bicycle must remain up at all times.
Cyclists must yield available space to customers with limited mobility.
Storage area varies by car type as follows:
- Diesel/Bilevel Cars: Bicycles must be stored on the boarding level, in the benched-seating area; preference must be given to customers with limited mobility.
- Electric Cars: Bicycles must be secured in vestibule areas designated by the train crew.
Number of Bicycles Per Train
Cyclists will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis, and we make no assurances that space will be available for bicycles. The LIRR reserves the right to designate additional trains where bicycles will not be permitted. In addition, train crews may bar bicycles from trains if the bicycles cannot be accommodated because of conditions which interfere with the safety and comfort of other customers, including occasions of heavy ridership or equipment shortages. Consequently, the carriage of bicycles on a given train or for a continuous journey on connecting trains cannot be guaranteed.
- Weekdays: 4 bicycles per train – 2 in the first car and 2 two in the last car, unless otherwise directed by the train crew
- Weekends: 1 bicycle per car; maximum 8 per train, excluding weekend bicycle trains below, unless otherwise directed by the train crew
Weekend Bike Trains
During the summer months, certain trains are designated as "Bicycle Trains" and may carry up to 2 bicycles per car. The list includes trains on the following branches: Babylon, Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, and Ronkonkoma/Greenport. These trains have a bicycle+ symbol by the train number on our branch timetables, which are available online, as well as at stations and terminals.
Exclusions - Times/Days Bicycles are Not Allowed on Trains (arrivals/departures from NYC):
- Weekday mornings, 6-10 a.m. for westbound arrivals
- Weekday evenings, 3-8 p.m. for eastbound departures
- Montauk Branch, May 28-Sept. 6: Sundays, 4:30-7:30 p.m. for westbound arrivals
- Montauk Branch, May 28-Sept. 6: Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. for eastbound departures
Bicycles are also not permitted on trains during:
- Trackwork/Busing Programs (see Planned Service Changes)
- New Year’s Day (Friday, January 1)
- St. Patrick’s Day (Wednesday, March 17)
- Good Friday (Friday, April 2)
- Easter Sunday (Sunday, April 4)
- Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 9)
- Memorial Day and the Friday before (Friday, May 28 and Monday, May 31)
- Father’s Day (Sunday, June 20)
- Independence Day (Sunday, July 4) and the Friday before (Friday, July 2)
- Labor Day and the Friday before (Friday, September 3 and Monday, September 6)
- Rosh Hashanah Eve (Monday, September 6)
- Columbus Day (Monday, October 11)
- Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving Day, and the day after Thanksgiving (Wednesday, November 24 through Friday, November 26)
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (Friday, December 24 and Saturday, December 25)
- New Year’s Eve (Friday, December 31)
- Special Events – including but not limited to major NYC parades; Belmont trains (including Belmont Stakes Day); and Mets-Willets Point trains.
There are certain holidays for which the LIRR operates on a regular weekday schedule, and bicycles are permitted on Off-Peak trains:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 18)
- Election Day (Tuesday, November 2)
- Veterans Day (Thursday, November 11)
In addition, bicycles are permitted throughout the day on Presidents’ Day (Monday, February 15), when the LIRR operates on a weekend/holiday schedule.
NYC Bicycle Events
New York City bicycle event organizers should submit requests for the waiving of permits to the LIRR Public Affairs Department at least six weeks in advance of the event date. Requests will be reviewed against potential crowding situations, trackwork and/or other special programs that may be occurring on that date. Please mail requests to: LIRR Public Affairs - Bicycle Permit Waiver Request, Jamaica Station Mail Code 1975, Jamaica, NY 11435.
Bicycle groups that are organizing rides may contact LIRR Group Travel at 718-217-5477 to reserve space on trains for the group participants only. Bicycles must be trucked at the expense of the group or participating individuals. On major bicycle group days, such as the annual "Ride to Montauk," no bicycles will be permitted on the Babylon or Montauk branches due to the high demand.
Folding Bicycle Policy
Folding bicycles may be brought on board train cars as carry-on baggage at all times. Only true folding bicycles (bicycles specifically designed to fold up into a compact assembly, not exceeding 32 inches in width) are acceptable. Generally, these bicycles have frame latches that allow the frame to be collapsed, and small wheels. Regular bicycles of any size, with or without wheels, are not considered folding bicycles, and may not be stored as folding bicycles on board trains. The bicycle must be folded in the most compact position before boarding the train. Bicycles must be clean and free of excessive dirt and grease at all times. Folding bicycles may not be placed on seats and must not block aisles or vestibules. Folding bicycles do not require a permit.
Cyclists must follow the directive of the train crew, authorized personnel, police, local authorities and/or fire officials. If an emergency should occur, cyclists may be required to leave their bicycles on board. Bicycles are not permitted on buses if substitute bus service is provided.
The LIRR Bicycle Permit is non-transferable and must be displayed or surrendered upon demand. Permit releases the LIRR from any liability or injury, death or damages arising in connection with the use of the permit. Permit holder agrees to be solely responsible for any injury, death or damages arising as a result of the use of the permit.
Additional Rules for Bicyclists:
i. Bicycle riding on platforms or in other station areas is prohibited.
ii. Bicycles are not to be taken on escalators.