How to bring bicycles on public transport

IRISH RAIL INTERCITY

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A bicycle rack on an Irish Rail intercity railcar

Bicycles are carried on Irish Rail Intercity services for free, but the spaces are often limited and must be booked in advance at irishrail.ie.

The capacity of many Intercity trains to carry bicycles is very limited

  • Dublin to Belfast and Dublin to Cork: Generally ample spaces
  • All other Intercity and longer-range services: 2-4 spaces

You must use the bicycle racks — to find them, watch out for the bicycle logo on the first or last carriages (or possibly one of the central carriages where two Intercity railcars sets are joined together).

Folding bicycles, with covers on them, are allowed at all times for free.

See Irish Rail’s bicycle page for full details.

NI RAILWAYS

Northern Ireland Railways carry bicycles for free but bicycles are not permitted on trains prior to 09.30 Monday to Friday.

Up to 4 full sized bicycles can be carried at any one time within the designated bicycle area. Space will be allocated on a first come first served basis, in the designated area, and at the discretion of staff. There are no travel restrictions nor limit to the number of ‘folding bicycles’ NI Railways carry, provided they are completely folded down.

IRISH RAIL DART AND COMMUTER

Bicycles are carried for free off-peak on Irish Rail’s Dart and Commuter train services — you may also be able to carry bikes counter-peak (ie where trains are not busy in peak times because commuters are mostly travelling in the opposite direction) but this will depend on staff.

According to Irish Rail: “Bicycles are not permitted on Commuter before 09:30hrs and between the hours of 16:00hrs and 19:00hrs Monday to Friday. Customers can travel with bikes all day Saturday and Sunday.”

Folding bicycles, with covers on them, are allowed at all times for free.

See Irish Rail’s bicycle page for full details.

DUBLIN BUS

Only folding bicycles are allowed — this is stated company policy (see the end of this article). But in practice, this seems to be up to individual drivers. It’s advisable that folding bikes are covered well before boarding the bus.

The National Cycle Policy promises a trial bicycle racks mounted to the front of bus, as is common in many cities the US and Canada (see this video), but this appears unlikely to happen.

BUS ÉIREANN EXPRESSWAY

Bus Éireann intercity services carries normal bikes for a fee and covered folding ones for free.

It adds that bicycles, along with prams or buggies, will be carried only if there is space available and these items must be placed in the luggage compartment.

BUS ÉIREANN TOWN, CITY AND COMMUTER SERVICES 

Bus Eireann do not have space or racks to carry full-sized bicycle on their town and city services as well as double decker commuter services, however, they will carry folding bicycles as described above.

LUAS

Covered folding bikes are allowed on trams. Full-sized bicycles are effectively banned on all Luas services at all times, even thought this is contrary to stated Government policy.

AIRCOACH

Aircoach carries normal and folding bicycles. On its website, its FAQ page says: “We value our customers and will do our best to accommodate you. Space permitting we will be happy to transport these items”

CITYLINK

Citylink will carry bicycles in the undercarriage if there is room available. There is a €5 charge payable to the driver.

DUBLIN COACH

“We accept bicycles for carriage as we are able to accommodate them in our luggage holds. Please note that this is done entirely at your own risk as Dublin Coach is not liable in the event of any damage.”

JJ KAVANAGH

“We can carry your bicycle in the luggage compartment of the coach and there is no charge.”

GoBus

“We may agree to carry, subject to available accommodation, additional luggage such as bicycles, skis and surfboards, provided they are packed in suitable protective packaging. If we agree to carry any such item on any journey this does not mean that we have agreed to carry that luggage on any subsequent journey you make. Please be advised that a €5 fee per item is payable to our driver in these situations”

TAXIS

Taxis generally do not carry bicycles and are are not required to do so. But you should be able to convince some drivers of larger taxis to carry bicycles and, as a last resort, others may carry them in their car’s boot.

8 Comments

  1. Actually taxis are not allowed to carry bikes unless the boot can be fully shut. I broke a chain once in Cork and needed rescuing. The helpful taxi driver was extremely apologetic but explained that it wasn’t allowed to carry the bike in a semi closed boot.

  2. Catriona O Leary August 21, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Hi. Today was told to bring BMX from cork city to clonakilty its 10 eur cost.
    However we arrived in cork from from clonakilty during the week and bike was free of charge. Iv never heard about this 10 eur cost. ???

  3. What about GoBus ?

  4. There should be at least , an incentive from irish rail to all passengers to carry bicycles for free weather on a special carriage or whatevers easier . Anyone with a brain should know this.

  5. can you update this info, intercity are now free

  6. From Dublin to Galway on the train, can i carry my boxed up bike? Any cost or other consideration?

  7. @John it should fit in the bicycle rack space as pictured about but note that free booking is mandatory.

  8. @jobin, bikes are supposed to be booked in advance as train carriage normally only has 2 bike spaces but if yours is boxed it’s probably considered luggage so should be ok. Ii that case though, it wont go in the bike rack. There is often a problem of people storing big luggage in the bike rack space or someone getting on without a bike booking and using the space someone else has booked which causes problems, as you’re not allowed to block the space between carriages either.

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