Bikes on Buses
A Quick Reference Guide for Carrying Your Bicycle on AC Transit Buses
Hundreds of bicyclists use AC Transit every day. With 120 bus lines, including 30 transbay lines to San Francisco and the Peninsula, AC Transit can really extend your range. Whether you are commuting to work or school, heading out to a regional park or bike trail, or simply want an easier way to negotiate that big hill or congested street, AC Transit can help get you there.
All AC Transit buses are equipped with front-mounted racks that hold two bicycles. On the big, green commuter coaches (known as MCIs), two additional bikes can be stored in the cargo bays when the front rack is full. (On selected MCIs crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges, custom-made cargo bay racks allow four additional bikes to be stored.)
No additional fare or permit is required to carry your bicycle on an AC Transit bus.
Watch the “how-to” video to see bike loading in action.
Check out the AC Transit video from the 2011 Bike to Work Day.
Loading Your Bicycle
1. When the bus approaches, stay on the sidewalk with your bicycle away from the curb.
2. Be ready to load your bike by removing any items, such as bags or pumps, that may fall off or interfere with another bike.
3. First allow other cyclists to remove their bikes.
4. Signal to the driver that you want to load your bike. Make sure the driver sees you before stepping in front of the bus.
5. Load from the curb side of the bus – do not step into traffic.
6. Squeeze and pull up on the bike rack handle to release the folded rack. Lower the rack until it clicks into place.
Lowering the bike rack
7. If there is no other bike on the rack, use the inside slot with your front wheel facing the curb.
8. Lift your bike onto the rack, fitting the wheels into the slots labeled “front” and “rear.” (Two bicycles will face in opposite directions on the rack.)
Placing the bike in the slot
9. Pull out and raise the support arm over the top of the front tire, positioning it as high up on the tire as possible. Do not lock your bike to the rack.
Securing the support arm
10. Get on board, pay your fare, and sit near the front so you can keep an eye on your bike. (But always yield front seats to seniors and persons with disabilities.)
Unloading Your Bicycle
1. Signal for your stop about a block ahead. Some buses have “stop request” buttons and others have pull cords over the windows.
2. Tell the driver you will be unloading your bike and exit through the front door.
3. Raise the support arm up and off the bike’s front tire.
4. Lift and remove the bike from the rack.
5. If no other bike is on the rack, fold and secure the rack into the upright position.
6. Return to the curb with your bike as quickly as possible so the bus can proceed.
Using the MCI Cargo Bay
This storage area on AC Transit’s green commuter coaches (MCIs) is available only when the front bike rack is full. Only one bike is allowed in each bay.*
1. Signal to the driver that you want to load your bike. The driver will step down and open the cargo-bay door.
2. Slide your bike into the bay, laying it on its side. The driver will then close and secure the door.
3. Signal for your stop about a block ahead and tell the driver you will be removing your bike from the cargo bay. Again, the driver will open the door for you.
Loading a bicycle in an MCI cargo bay
*On a limited number of MCIs, custom-made racks are installed in the cargo bays. Each rack accommodates two bicycles, one above and one below a protective divider. To load your bike, follow the instructions on the rack.
Keep in Mind
- You may only load and unload bicycles at AC Transit bus stops.
- Space on the rack and in the MCI cargo bay is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If the space is full, please wait for the next bus.
- From 5:30 a.m. to midnight, all bicycles must be placed on the rack – bicycles are not permitted inside the bus. From midnight to 5:30 a.m., you may carry your bike inside the bus only if the rack is full and space is available.
- Bike racks can accommodate two-wheeled bicycles (no tandems) with a wheelbase of
up to 44 inches and a wheel size of at least 16 inches.
- You must load and unload your own bike. The bus driver cannot provide assistance.
- AC Transit is not responsible for loss of or damage to bicycles carried on buses.
- If you accidentally leave your bike on the bus, you can report it at actransit.org/feedback or (510) 891-4706 at any time. AC Transit Lost & Found staff will notify you the next business day if your bicycle is recovered. All unclaimed items are retained by AC Transit for 90 days.
Sharing the Road
Communication and good will are key to buses and bicycles sharing the road. Bus drivers are required to signal when pulling to the curb at a bus stop. Listen for the signal sound of an overtaking bus, then signal and pass the bus on the left when clear. Never endanger bus passengers or yourself by passing between the bus and the curb!