Can I Take A Folding Bicycle On The Bus?


The popularity for folding bicycles has kept increasing over the years, largely due to the ability to hop on and off between the bus and cycle routes, this gives you the ability to have multi-mode commute that is more environmentally friendly than a gas guzzling car

It’s not just the positive environmental impact, but also the money that can be saved. Buying a monthly bus pass or a single ticket fare is significantly cheaper than buying petrol and running of a car. With the added bonus of carrying a folding bicycle you have the added luxury of cycling down hill by passing the bus and cars jammed in the long traffic queues 

Can I Take A Folding Bike On The Bus?

For most public service busses, the answer will be yes. However there is a little more to it than that. Ultimately it comes down to the driver’s discretion, the driver has to make a health and safety judgement call on whether your folding bicycle is going to pose a hazard to bus travelers

the driver has to make a call on whether your folding bicycle is going to be a hazard to anybody, a trip hazard or any physical injury that could be obtained from colliding with your folding bicycle. If an accident does occur then the driver will be the person responsible, not the passengers or the cyclist but only the driver the driver gets the blame…guaranteed!

What I would suggest is to carry your folding bicycle in a carry/suitcase bag, leaving your folding bicycle exposed is far more likely going to make the driver second guess whether it will be a tripping hazard to the bus passengers. Protruding pedals and handlebars can cause easy catch and trip a rushing passenger who is walking or running between the seats of the bus 

Putting your folding bicycle in a carry/suitcase bag also makes it hand luggage, which also means you can store it in the provided hand storage compartments available on the bus, as opposed to storing it on your lap or the seat beside you 

A carry/suitcase bag will also make it easier to carry and transport your folding bicycle around the city. Some bus companies will state that any folding bicycle has to be in a carry/suitcase bag for them to board the bus, if they are not they will be refused entry 

It’s always worth looking up the bus companies policy on folding bicycle and hand luggage, make sure your folding bicycle does not prohibit or break any of the rules set by the bus companies policy 

Larger busses like the Mega busses/coaches may let you store your bicycle under the bus beside all of the other hand luggage items, in this circumstance you’d be best using a carry/suitcase bag to prevent any pedals and handlebar ripping other hand luggage  

To summarize, folding bikes should be folded up and put in a bag or storage case, they are then treated as hand luggage and are free of charge

Can I Take A Non-Folding, Full Assembled Bicycle On The Bus?

No…, generally fully assembled bicycles are not allowed on any bus, at any time due to the size and room they take up. Additionally colliding with a fully assembled bicycle if the bus driver had to emergency brake would cause a significant injury to any passengers

There may be exceptions to this however, there may be one or two bus companies that I am not aware of that do allow fully assembled bicycle on the bus. Border Busses (which is a bus service based in Edinburgh and the scottish borders) is an exception to this rule, all journeys on the 253 are bike friendly except 0900 and 1300 from Edinburgh and 1026 and 1426 from Innerwick. Again, these are subject to last minute alterations

Border Busses are also scheduled to extend the following bike friendly journeys along it’s other bus routes, you can also track your X62/253 bike friendly buses live on the Borders Buses app. You simply click the X62 or 253 on the Border Busses bus tracker and look for ‘BIKE’ after the vehicle registration

Ultimately it comes down to the driver decrescrtion, Ultimately it comes down to the driver’s discretion, the driver has to make a health and safety judgement call on whether your folding bicycle is going to pose a hazard to bus passengers 

Where Can I Store A Folding Bicycle On The Bus

Option 1: Luggage Rack

As mentioned before it’s best to have your folding bicycle in a carry/suitcase bag, this allows to store it as hand luggage. Most modern busses have some kind of hand luggage placement where to put your folding bicycle (when it is in a carry/suitcase bag) alongside the other luggage or bags that will be there

Option 2: At Your Legs

On other occasions the bus may be over crowded (especially during rush hour), on those occasions you’ll have to store your folding bicycle between or in front of your legs during the bus journey

Option 3: On The Opposite Seat

Another option is to have your folding bicycle positioned on the opposite seat to the left or right of you (the neighbouring seat), you can rest the folding bicycle there if the seat is not being used by another bus passenger 

I would suggest running your arm through your folding bicycle carry/suitcase carrying straps to make sure the folding bicycle doesn’t fall off the seat and collide with another passenger. The space to store your folding bicycle can be very limited on a public bus, especially during rush hour. On some occasions there will be times when you’ll have to stand while carrying your folding bicycle carry/suitcase via the shoulder or hand carry straps

Is There An Extra Charge For Taking Your Folding Bicycle On The Bus?

In most cases there will not be an extra charge when taking your folding bicycle on a public bus, as most folding bicycles come with a carry bag/suitcase this means it is classed as hand luggage. Hand luggage does not carry an extra charge on most public service busses

There may be some private bus companies that do charge for taking your folding bicycle on their bus, the best way to be prepared for this is to check their policy on folding bicycle and hand luggage. It’s always worth looking up the bus company’s policy on folding bicycle and hand luggage to make sure you do not prohibit or break any of the rules set by the bus companies policy 

Is There Specific Time Zones When I Can Take My Folding Bicycle On The Bus?

Generally there is no specific times when you are not allowed to take your folding bicycle on the bus, however it’s always best double checking with your bus service that you use. I am not personally aware of all the bus policy so do your own research when it comes to this

I do not see why there would be a restriction on times when you can board a bus with your folding bicycle. As long your folding bicycle is in it’s compact carry/suitcase then it’s officially classed as hand luggage

Public bus companies are pretty straightforward, however private bus companies can be different. Always make sure to check their company’s policy on folding bicycle and hand luggage and if there is any time specific zones that allow or prohibit you boarding with your folding bicycle

What Are The Benefits To Taking A Folding Bicycle On The Bus?

There are many advantages to taking your folding bicycle on the bus, the biggest advantage is the ability to cross-travel between using public busses and your on folding bicycle. In all cities across the world congestion and traffic is a daily occurrence and inconvenience when trying to get to work

Hopping on and off public busses, and cycling partially to your destination not only saves you a lot of time but also makes a smaller carbon footprint in the ever changing environment. Travelling in a gas guzzling car, being stuck in traffic is much more taxing to the time it takes for you to reach your destination and also on the environment

There is also another benefit of cost, there is a far cheaper cost to arrive at your destinations when partially taking a public bus and then a short cycling via your folding bicycle than taking a car to your desired destinations 

Especially today we have the luxury of choosing multiple ways to transport to our destination, most bus services are very reliable today and most cities have the infrastructure for cyclists to easily maneuver through the city at any time of the day. Using a folding bicycle really takes advantage of this luxury we have and is far quicker than sitting in congested traffic cues especially during rush hour traffic

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have anything to add, then leave a comment down below. All of the information has been thoroughly researched and I have plenty of real world experience on this issue to add as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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