The South Shore Line's long prohibition against bicycles will come to an official end in less than two weeks. Starting April 2, up to 40 bikes per train will be allowed on weekend days through the end of October as part of a one year pilot program.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) has modified seven of the single level cars within its South Shore fleet to accommodate a total of 134 bike racks. The installation required the removal of seats from one side of the center aisle. The new interior setup is intended to allow cyclists to dock their bike and then sit right next to it on the opposite side of the car. The bicycle cars will be marked with yellow decals affixed to windows and will be placed into 14 of the 18 weekend trains linking downtown Chicago to Northwest Indiana.
Due to the configuration of the doorways, boarding with bicycles will only be allowed at existing high-level platforms, where stairs are not needed to enter and exit the train. High level platforms are available at South Bend, Dune Park, East Chicago, Hammond and all Chicago stations except 63rd Street.
During the pilot program, bikes will also be allowed on railroad holidays, but still prohibited during regular weekdays. Additionally, weekends lining up with special events in downtown Chicago will also see restrictions in order to preserve capacity for dates with traditionally high ridership such as during the Taste of Chicago, Air and Water Show and Lollapalooza.
• South Shore Line 'Bikes on Weekend Trains' to Start April 2 [Chesterton Tribune]
• Bikes on Weekend Trains Brochure [NICTD]