Take the Train — Bring Your Bike!

Want to travel in Ontario with your bike and enjoy a cycling getaway?

Ride a route one way only, and take the train back?

Don’t own a vehicle or visiting without one?

The Bike Train initiative introduced bike racks onboard select passenger rail trains and transported both passengers and bicycles to destinations across Ontario, making cycling holidays easy and accessible.  The initiative was a project of Transportation Options, a non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating sustainable transportation and tourism. Prior to 2011, Transportation Options was an operational partner providing the Bike Train service with VIA Rail. Since 2011, Bike Train has been a promotional partner with both GO Transit and VIA Rail, sharing information on their respective bike transportation services. (See below for more about project history.)

How to Use the Bike Train

Bike Train service in Ontario is provided by our passenger rail partners. For further information on how to transport your bicycle, please refer to:

www.gotransit.com

GO Transit is an extensive regional public transit system serving the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario. You can travel on a trains or buses between Toronto, Kitchener, Guelph, Milton, Barrie, Oshawa, Peterborough, Hamilton, Niagara and many stops in between.
View system map HERE.

Using GO Transit With Your Bike

There are certain restrictions in travelling with you bike using GO Transit trains and buses.

  • Bicycles are allowed on GO Trains except during weekday rush hour service in the peak direction, due to the high volume of passengers travelling to/from the city – Toronto.
  • Most trains and buses  allow for amaximum of two bikes in each of the Designated Bicycle Zones onboard trains or in dedicated bike racks on buses.
  • Due to the high volume of passengers, bikes are not permitted inside Toronto Union Station during weekday rush hours (Morning rush hour is 6:30AM to 9:30AM; Evening rush hour is 3:30PM to 6:30PM).
  • All rules governing standard bicycles are also applicable to e-bikes. Only traditional bicycle-style e-bikes are allowed onboard GO trains and buses.
  • New e-bike rules (April 2024) – All e-bike batteries must meet safety certifications (UL or CE); Batteries must have no physical damage to the case or warranty seal; Inspectors will provide tamper-proof seals to approved batteries; E-bikes are limited to a maximum weight of 55kg
  • Read more HERE.

www.viarail.ca

2024 UPDATE: We regret to inform you that bike transportation is currently not available in 2024 using VIA Rail. Bike Transportation on VIA Rail is expected to resume in 2025, with new fleet of trains available.

  • The current fleet of trains in the Québec City-Windsor corridor is being replaced by a new fleet of trains that will provide an unparalleled, barrier-free and fully accessible travel experience. During this transition, all baggage cars have been removed from our corridor trains, so the transport of bicycles and other large items is temporarily suspended.
  • Cycling enthusiasts will begin to see improved options and much more flexibility as each new train in VIA Rail’s modern new fleet is brought into service.
  • For any additional information please contact VIA Rail customer service: www.viarail.ca/en/contact-us
  • Options to Consider: Renting bikes at destination; travelling with a support vehicle; using a taxi hire service.

Prior to 2022:

– Ontario Southwest: Windsor-London-Toronto and stops in between (daily trains)
– Ontario East: Toronto-and Montreal and stops in between (daily trains)
Bikes could only be transported on trains listed with baggage cars. Some baggage cars in the past had bike racks as part of the Bike Train Initiative. On other trains, bikes could be transported in bags or boxes on trains. Bike transportation was only available to/from stations with attendants on duty. Extra charges applied.

Bike Train Routes

For information on ferries, buses, bike rentals, bridge crossings, and Parkbus visit:

www.ontariobybike.ca/transportation

Originally launched in partnership with VIA Rail Canada between Toronto and Niagara in 2007, the Bike Train proved to be a fun, economic and environmentally friendly way to enjoy a cycling getaway. Getting to the destination was made easy as passengers travelled in comfort while their bicycles were safely secured in a baggage car without the need for bike bags or boxes. In 2008, the Bike Train Initiative won two Ontario Tourism Awards: Best Tourism Marketing Partnership and Excellence Award for Tourism Innovation, and in 2009 was selected as a Finalist for the Deloitte Tourism Innovator of the Year TIAC Award.

In 2011, we were proud to report that Bike Train service was being provided by passenger rail partners on the Windsor-Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Niagara routes.  Having achieved our #1 objective which was to introduce and improve transportation options for cycle tourists in Ontario, our focus is now on marketing and promotion, along with destination development projects.

“The Bike Train is a unique and remarkable success story within the tourism industry,” said the Honourable Monique Smith, Minister of Tourism. “By expanding the bike train service to select parts of the province, this initiative is helping revitalize local tourism and is positioning Ontario as a go-to destination for cycling holidays.”    (May 20, 2009)

Having served thousands of passengers 2008 to 2011 and created routes that spanned the province, the Bike Train Initiative put Ontario on the map as a leading cycle tourism destination in North America.

Other Transportation Options Projects Include:
Ontario By Bike Network; Ontario By Bike Industry PartnershipPark Bus  plus a variety of past and present tourism development services and projects from Transportation Options.

Partners and Supporters

The Bike Train Initiative was developed in partnership with:

Funding Partners:
The Ontario Trillium Foundation; Government of Ontario; Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation

Lead Organizations:
Transportation Options; Waterfront Regeneration Trust; Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce

Project Partners:
City of Toronto; Ontario Northland; VIA Rail Canada; GO Transit

Promotional Partners:

Destination Ontario; NOW Magazine; Ontario Wine Council; Pedal Magazine

…and with support from over 50 organizations including Tourism Toronto, Tourism Niagara, St. Catharines Tourism, Niagara Regional Bicycling Committee, Niagara Freewheelers, City of North Bay, Discovery Routes, Northumberland Tourism, Tourism Kingston, Rideau Heritage Route, Brockville Chamber of Commerce, St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Cornwall Tourism, and Tourism Windsor, Essex County and Pelee Island.