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MTA to Lift Bike Permit Requirement on LIRR and Metro-North

Updated August 12, 2021 1:15 p.m.
MTA Lifts Bike Permit

Effective Sept. 7, Commuter Railroad Customers Will No Longer Be Required to Show a Permit to Travel with Bikes  

Customers Can Also Bring Bikes On Board Without a Permit During Bike New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour on Sunday, August 22 

View Photos of News Conference  

View Video of News Conference 


Reinforcing its longstanding commitment to sustainable transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced plans to lift bike permit requirements on both the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. Starting Sept. 7, cyclists riding the rails will no longer be required to obtain a permit to travel with a full-size bike. 

LIRR and Metro-North customers will also not be required to present a bike permit on Sunday, August 22, the day of Bike New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour. The event, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, draws tens of thousands of cyclists to the city. 

“Metro-North believes deeply in the value of sustainable transportation and looks forward to helping our customers ride the system more seamlessly with their bikes in tow,” said Metro-North President Cathy Rinaldi. “As more and more riders continue to return to the railways, it’s essential that we’re doing everything we can to accommodate them and making it easier to travel with bikes is one way of doing that. The number of cyclists has risen considerably during the pandemic, and it’s vital that mass transit plays a role in promoting that growth.” 

“The LIRR provides New Yorkers with access to a range of world class bike rides throughout Long Island,” said LIRR President Phil Eng. “We continually strive to make it easier for everyone to access those adventures. We’ve always supported all modes of sustainable travel and this news ensures our commitment to enhancing the bicycling experience and quality of life throughout our geographic footprint. I’m excited to see more and more bike riders take the train to their cycling destinations of choice.” 

“Every day at Bike New York we’re fighting for safer and more equitable streets and providing free bike education to more than 30,000 New Yorkers each year,” said Bike New York President and CEO Kenneth J. Podziba. “And we couldn’t do the work we do on behalf of New Yorkers if it weren’t for our incredible partners, like the MTA, TD Bank and Manhattan Portage.” 

Other rules for bringing bikes on board the LIRR and Metro-North continue to apply. Non-folding bikes are not allowed on rush hour trains or on holidays. On weekdays, up to four bikes per train are allowed. On weekends, up to eight bikes per train are allowed. The MTA encourages cyclists to 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. 

For current information on taking your bike on MTA subways, buses and commuter rail, visit new.mta.info/guide/bikes. 

About the TD Five Boro Bike Tour 

Now in its 43rd edition, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour remains America’s most popular charitable ride. Proceeds from the event benefit Bike New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide bike education opportunities to both kids and adults all over New York City. The 40-mile, car-free Tour traverses all five boroughs, starting in Manhattan and ending in Staten Island with spectacular crossings along the Queensboro and Verrazzano Bridges. While previous Tours saw up to 32,000 riders, this year’s Tour, capped at 20,000 registrants, promises cyclists a unique experience and a fantastic way to reconnect with the people and places that make New York City special. 

For more information about the Five Boro Bike Tour, visit www.bike.nyc

About Bike New York’s Bike Education Programs 

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour funds public bike classes that reach over 30,000 kids and adults each year. Classes not only provide New Yorkers with a new way to get around; they also offer new ways for people to connect with their communities. 

Last year’s in-person events and classes were suspended due to the pandemic, but Bike New York continued to support New York’s bike boom with virtual instruction that reached more than 30,000 viewers worldwide. The tour will support the return of live classes and grow the organization’s virtual offerings so that both new and seasoned riders can stay in touch with the city and the larger New York cycling community. 

Bike New York has implemented bike safety education programs with the Department of Education at local middle schools, co-developed with Brooklyn’s One Community a job training and placement program for formerly incarcerated Brooklynites to become bike mechanics, and helped pilot a free bike rental system at Shirley Chisholm State Park.