Taking bicycles on passenger trains in Estonia is being restricted over the summer months, train operator Elron says, due to the larger general volume of passengers and the accompanying inconvenience which bikes can bring. On some services, bringing bikes on board will be entirely banned.
The company notes in a press release that the decision also reflects the needs of wheelchair users, passengers with strollers, and others who require assistance in travel at all times, as against non-essential bike travel.
Passenger feedback stated that bicycles sometimes hindered movement inside the train, the company says, even blocking access to toilet facilities. Some passengers also complained their clothing had been marked by contact with bike wheels, chains etc.
As a result, taking bikes on Elron trains is to be forbidden on the high-demand Tartu, Narva and Viljandi routes, with restrictions in place on the Paldiski line, the company says, adding that a single bicycle takes up several passengers' space.
"We understand that cyclists may be frustrated by the ban on bikes, but at the same time, passenger comfort, safety and travel options are of greater significance," Elron says, noting that there are places to secure bikes at train stations, and that this was standard practice across Europe.
Information on specific routes affected by the ban will be added to Elron's website, it says. Clicking on a red exclamation mark symbol on the timetable page reveals extra travel information, including on bicycles, the company says. All routes will have at least some departures which permit taking bikes on board, Elron says.
The company also notes that since passenger numbers have been rising year-on-year, there is a real need for additional services, adding that it was not anti-bike as such, and supported environmentally friendly means of transport such as cycling.
The exact dates the restrictions would come into effect/finish were not reported.
Editor: Andrew Whyte