Electric scooters on trains
For many, a motorized scooter is their preferred mode of transportation. Especially when you need to commute outside of your city and you want to use your electric scooter once you reach your destination.
Studies show electric scooters are steadily rising choice for last mile commute.
But before you can plan your travel itinerary: it’s important to find out if you can carry your e scooter on public transit when you need to.
Can you bring an electric scooter on a train?
As long as the safety of other passengers is not hindered, most train services allow electric scooters to be carried as it will be considered luggage. It is recommended that you fold your electric scooter down so that it does not take up too much room. However, the rules and guidelines may differ in different parts of the country – a quick look at the official government website will give you more insight.
If you live in a big city like NYC, you’ve likely seen more than a few electric scooters in the city subways. If you’re trying to carry your two-wheeler ES vehicle through a Subway or other inner city transit, you’ll probably not be stopped unless your electric scooter is massive (exceeds 70 inches) and can’t be folded down.
Underground trains in big cities make carrying an electric scooter easy — but what about cross country trains like Amtrak?
Is bringing electric scooters on a train allowed?
Yes, you can carry your electric scooter on most train services without facing any issues. Unlike planes, most trains and subways allow battery powered vehicles like electric bikes and electric scooters.
Amtrak allows you to carry an electric scooter or electric bike with you, and suggests that you fold it down to fit underneath your seat to take minimal space.
Some Subways will only permit electric vehicles during restricted hours. For example, the Chicago subway allows electric scooters on their trains before 6:30 am and after 9:30 am. The reason behind this is probably to avoid passengers carrying their electric vehicles in peak morning hour congestion times.
Just like Chicago, different cities and states have varying public transportation rules and guidelines. Scootermap strongly suggests checking out the specific city, government, and train stations’ designated website to be sure and to find out more details about what kind of portable vehicles they allow and don’t.
Even if you’ve taken all precautions, note that the authorities at the train station still have the right to stop you based on safety threats, congestion issues or any other reasons. That’s why it’s a good idea to go a little early and check with them before boarding, especially for longer train rides.
Electric Scooters Portability in Trains
Riding an electric scooter? Fun.
Carrying 100lbs of metal up a flight of stairs? Not so fun.
That’s why certain electric scooters are designed to be ultra-portable, so that they’re not too heavy or bulky.
Make sure you invest in foldable electric scooters if you plan to use public transportation like the train service. Your folded scooter shouldn’t take up as much space as another person — otherwise you might have to buy an extra ticket.
If you’re in a pinch — you can even take apart the handlebars and battery to occupy less space in your car trunk or under your train seat.
Things to Remember While You Board with Electric Scooters
Rules that apply to passenger trains apply to other forms of public transportation such as light rail lines and subways. It is banned to ride scooters or any kind of vehicle in the train station or on the platforms (for obvious safety reasons), so you have to fold it before entering.
On the train service website, it will often be mentioned that carrying foldable electric scooters or vehicles must not interfere with the other passengers riding the train. No one wants to get hit in the shin with aviation grade metal, so make sure you keep it close to yourself and don’t swing it around.
Electric scooters will easily fit on the aisles or even under the seats. Most trains may not have a designated area for e-scooters but due to their lightweight and easy foldability, they can be carried easily.
This is important: many trains and subways require you to secure your electric scooter to the lower railing on the seat with a bungee cord or other fastener. This prevents the scooter from moving about as the train moves.
Some train services may have extra rules that you should know, like a maximum number of electric vehicles per train car.
Remember: a disabled person using mobility devices will always be given more priority and preference over someone with an electric scooter. You can’t expect train crew or authorities to help you with your electric scooter the same way they would help someone with an electric mobility device.
Bringing Electric Scooters On A Train During Rush Hour
While boarding a mass rapid transit service such as trains or buses, during rush hour, the authorities may not allow e-scooters to be carried. Mostly because they can’t accommodate your electric scooter due to lack of space or seats and for the safety of others.
Try to board the first or the last cars on the train. And try not to bump into anyone if you have to go through revolving doors or an elevator.
If you are commuting with your scooter for a longer duration, you can check if there is a roomette available on your cross-country train for more space.
Why should you carry your electric scooter on a train?
Taking your electric scooter with you will always be a little bit inconvenient and/or a bit of a workout. However — the benefits ultimately outweigh the discomfort. If you do choose to carry your e-scooter, make sure you’ve chosen a lightweight model that’s both compact and easy to lug around. We suggest scooters below 50lbs.
- Not only do you reduce your personal carbon footprint by using e-scooters, but you can also reduce your transportation expenses.
- While buses and train service systems are improving every day, they are still only accessible through their stations. You then need to find a way to reach your destination from the station once you get off the train. Usually, other transportation vehicles like cabs, shuttles, and buses are available for last mile commuting, and can get pretty expensive.
Having an electric scooter means you don’t have to rely on the last mile options offered by public transportation services, which saves you quite a bit of cash in the long run.
How to prepare your electric scooter to be carried into the train?
Now that you’re familiar with the rules surrounding e scooters in trains — let’s look at what the general practices are.
Your electric scooter is going to be carried around for as long as you are on the train and in the train station, and following basic etiquette helps everyone.
- You are going to be navigating through elevators, revolving metal doors, subway station doors, train cars, crowded platforms, and staircases, as well as other people while carrying your e-scooter. Turn off the power and fold your electric scooter.
- Once that’s done, we would recommend going one step further and detaching the electric battery if you can (though this isn’t mandatory). And don’t forget to fold the stand. Make sure everything is secure and at its most compact size before you leave.
- If there is a designated area for scooters or bikes on some trains, try to make use of that. But don’t place your electric scooter on overhead racks. In case of sudden halts or turns, your scooter may fall on you or others.
- When it’s wet or rainy outside, make sure to have an extra piece of cloth or plastic cover to keep the vehicle from getting wet. Keep your wheels and motor area as dry and clean as possible to prevent them from getting damaged.
Most electric scooters will fit into the trunk of your cars, carried on most elevators, and as luggage in the baggage or cargo area.
Electric motorcycles and scooters are designed and manufactured with the customers’ convenience, practicality, and a safe riding experience in mind. We can’t assure you e scooters can be carried on the train, given that the public transportation authorities don’t specifically object to it, which is why it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Personal vehicles such as electric scooters or bikes are considered luggage so it’s often not opposed if you follow all the guidelines.