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Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

Bringing your bike to Milwaukee on Amtrak just got much easier

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Want to take your bike on the Amtrak train to Milwaukee? if so, you'll be pleased to know the process just took a big step forward in terms of convenience. 

Up until now, Amtrak passengers travelling with their bike between Milwaukee and Chicago had to put their bike in a box. Now people can store their fully-assembled bike in the baggage car during their trip. 

Bob Hoel, the president of the Active Trans Board of Directors, took the journey with his bike to Milwaukee to try out the new service for its official unveiling this morning. After arriving in Milwaukee, Hoel participated in a news conference announcing the new service. 

We know that plenty of people are eager to travel with their bikes on this route while avoiding the hassle of driving.

Chicago’s growing network of trails, protected bike lanes and other biking amenities is a draw for people all over the Midwest. 

And we expect that a huge number of people from Chicagoland will be heading to Milwaukee with their bikes to enjoy the city’s many attractions, including its growing bike infrastructure.  

But it’s not just tourists who’ll be using this wonderful new service — people will use it for business, for visiting family and friends and, of course, it will help people who’re on their way to other destinations with their bikes. 

As more people see the logic behind combining their modes of travel, this new service means more options for them. 

In addition to the Hiawatha route between Chicago and Milwaukee, passengers can easily bring their bike on trains bound for downstate Illinois and Port Huron, Michigan. And just last fall, Amtrak unveiled roll-on bike service for the Capitol Limited, which operates between Chicago and Washington, DC. 

Passengers must reserve space for their bikes by selecting “add bike” when they book their train travel on Amtrak.com, by calling 800-USA-RAIL, using the staffed ticket offices in Milwaukee or Chicago or by using the Quik-TrakSM kiosks at both stations. There is a $5 charge per bicycle.

With almost 800,000 passengers last year, the Hiawatha Service is the busiest Amtrak corridor in the Midwest, offering seven daily round-trips Mondays through Saturdays and six round-trips on Sundays under a sponsorship shared by WisDOT and the Illinois Department of Transportation with Amtrak. More information is at AmtrakHiawatha.com.

Congratulations to Amtrak for launching this service and continuing to make it easier to bring bikes on more routes throughout the nation. It speaks to Amtrak’s commitment to sustainable travel, and its commitment to the needs of its passengers.