Taiwan Railways Administration Agrees “Bikes in Portable Bags” on July 1st 2008
[ Category ] Hot News
[ Issues the date ] 2008/7/7 PM 03:10
Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) actively propagates collective bike riding and furthermore agrees “Bikes in Portable Bags” postdating “R&B (Railways & Bikes) Green Exclusive Car” promoted in March 2008 which echoed to the green emission reduction policy proposed by the Government, which benefits employees, commuters, students, and common people to employ the mass transportation tools for biking in diverse locations.
TRA agrees Bikes in Portable Bags in response to the demand of employees, commuters and students in ordinary (non-numbered) trains at all levels of all lines, including local trains, local expresses and non-electrified local normal expresses regardless of cars and sizes and no extra charge; one person is confined to take one bike. This project is to be carried out for 3 months from July 1st 2008 with further discussion after the implementation.
TRA appeals that passengers shall not take numbered trains as having Bikes in Portable Bags; the violators will be charged for the extra fee in compliance with “Local Equal Fare of Passengers Taking Numbered Trains”.
If you have a folding bike, Dahon has a great bag called “El Bolso”. I’ve used it extensively in Japan, where the rail service rules require bagged bikes. Since Dahon is a TW company, the bag can be ordered in TW at any Dahon dealer (which are fairly scarce compared to the Giant octopus).
The drill is: bag the bike in the train station lobby (esp. if air conditioned), walk through the wicket and board, disembark at destination (I often rebuild/unfold the bike on the platform, rolling up the bike bag … you can see how small the “compressed form” of the El Bolso is), ride around with bike bag lashed to bike. Repeat as needed, e.g., take a forest RR up, ride down, bag the bike and go back up on the forest RR, and take a different route down. The ski lift theory of cycling.
If I’m returning to the same station, I will store the bag in a locker (if available). If there’s a department store near the destination station, I’ll check the rolled up bag at the department store’s package/coat check desk as if I’m shopping, and have picked up the bag several days later. I explain that I won’t be back for several days, and that the bag has my mobile no. on the bag tag. I’ve never had a problem… but I also give them a small bag of Kona coffee. They remember me. Many times the clerk has my bag in hand before I reach the desk, and I get to hear about how good the coffee was.
It needs to be emphasize that you can take a bike in a bag on the train only if the train is a local train without reserved seats. So no Ziqiang or juguang express trains. We took the Ziqiang back from Guanshan with two bikes in bags and received a talking to by the conductors. While this used to be fine, I think too many people are doing it with the current biking craze. On the bright side, the conductor said that we would be able to take bikes on the train (presumably Ziqang) after October 1st. This is the first I’ve heard of that–will have to wait for the rules.
We were able to ship 3 other bikes from the Giant shop in Guanshan though. About NT$600/bike.
Re: no bagged bikes on ziqiang or juguang express trains. I think the time of day is important. I have not had a scolding when traveling on express trains with a bagged bike between rush hours, e.g., Taipei / Dajia mid-day. Of course, I’m careful not to leave handlebars hanging out, etc.
[quote=“Feiren”]It needs to be emphasize that you can take a bike in a bag on the train only if the train is a local train without reserved seats. So no Ziqiang or juguang express trains. We took the Ziqiang back from Guanshan with two bikes in bags and received a talking to by the conductors. While this used to be fine, I think too many people are doing it with the current biking craze. On the bright side, the conductor said that we would be able to take bikes on the train (presumably Ziqang) after October 1st. This is the first I’ve heard of that–will have to wait for the rules.
We were able to ship 3 other bikes from the Giant shop in Guanshan though. About NT$600/bike.[/quote]
Feiren, you’re right about the non-reserved seats, but I’m not so sure about not allowing it on Ziqiang and Juguang. The original press release (railway.gov.tw/Upload/IndexN … 5-bike.pdf) – the only related info I can find on the TRA site – talks about 全線各級, ie all lines and all classes. Also, we just took the overnight to Taidong on Sunday evening, a Juguang, and no one said anything when we were getting on the train, and the conductor on the train only complained that we were blocking the space between the cars, but said nothing about adding a fee for bringing our bikes on a train with only reserved seats. Anyway, we didn’t know about the new regulation and the conductor didn’t say anything about it either, although seated, we saw that very information displayed on the neon ticker (or whatever it’s called) over the door. Maybe they are more lenient now since the whole trial is supposed to be evaluated on Oct 1 before a final decision is being made.
This was always allowed before and we’ve taken this overnighter with our bikes several times before, because it’s a great way to get down to southeast of the island. Now we have to send the bikes in advance a couple days, and can no longer make a spur of the moment decision like we did this week to go down south biking. I guess there are greyhound buses, though. And you fly down there with your bike every now and then, don’t you? Does that still work well, and can you still do it without being charged for it? Bikes bagged or unbagged?
BTW, Dawu-Daren-Shouka-Mudan-Checheng-Kending is a lovely one-day ride, about 90k. The section between Shouka and Mudan is particularly beautiful, and there are almost no cars. It’s a great thing to finish a full day on the bike in 30+ degrees off with a dip in the lukewarm pacific. And taking the HSR home yesterday no one gave us grief about reserved seats or not or blocking the aisle with our bikes. I’ll post the write up on the bike blog in the next few days.
I’ve lucked out many times with older express cars on the west coast sea line that have “missing seats” at one end of the car, which permits me to move my bagged bike from between cars.
The WORST experience is traveling when K-12 schools dismiss and the school kids jam every square cm of floor space in the reserved cars. Blind eye turned by the conductor, like those kids have reservations. Try getting the bagged bike off in that mess. Brute force. It’s not pretty.