Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Schumer to call on Amtrak to allow bicycles on board


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ALBANY, N.Y. - "It’s stress relief. The exercise makes me really happy," Becky Puritz said.

Having lived in Japan as an exchange student, Puritz didn't always feel that way.

"When I got there, they handed me a bike and were like okay this is how you’re getting around. It took a little getting used to it at first, but I fell in love with it."

So in love that Puritz now works as a sales associate at the Downtube Bicycle store in Albany.

"We see tourists from all over the country coming up, but it’s an ordeal getting them out here," Puritz said.

For most bikers, long distance travel through the state without the use of a car is currently inconvenient.

"You have to disassemble it and take off the handle bars and take off the pedals."

But some lawmakers want to change that.

U. S. Senator Charles Schumer said, "We are urging Amtrak to add baggage cars to the Adirondack and Ethan Allen lines so that passengers can bring their bicycles along with them on their trips."

According to Senator Schumer, the "Bike on Board" program would boost state and local revenue as well as encourage job growth.

"Bicycle tourists spend a lot of money. Between $100 and $300 and they use our hotels, our restaurants, they buy things in our stores," Schumer said.

In 2011, tourism in upstate New York totaled nearly $7 billion.

Schumer explained, "It just so happens that Amtrak is building new baggage cars over in Elmira at CAF. Adding one of these passenger cars which can accommodate bicycles would be a phenomenal idea and an idea entirely made in New York."

"To be able to just take your bike in without mechanical skills and ride it the second you get off the train, it would be wonderful. Really fantastic," Puritz said.

It's an idea made in New York, hoping to benefit the riders of New York.

By: Karen Tararache  -  http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/

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Charles Schumer
Senior United States Senator from New York

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