CINCINNATI – Those looking to give commuting to work or school by bike a try will have the perfect opportunity this Friday when transit systems around the region offer free fare to those riding the bus with their bikes.

What You Need To Know

  • bus riders who load a bike onto their bus’ bike rack will be able to ride for free Friday

  • It's part of National Bike to Work Day

  • The event aims to promote using ways other than cars to get to and from work

  • A breakfast celebration will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. on the Purple People Bridge

In celebration of National Bike to Work Day, bus riders who load a bike onto their bus’ bike rack will ride for free.

Participating transit agencies include the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK), Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) and Metro, which serves Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The 2021 Breakfast on the Bridge event on the Purple People Bridge. (Photo Courtesy of Tri-State Trails)
The 2021 Breakfast on the Bridge event on the Purple People Bridge. (Photo Courtesy of Tri-State Trails)

All Metro, TANK and BCRTA buses have front-loading secure bike racks that can accommodate up to two bikes. Bikes are not permitted on board buses unless they are foldable and can fit under a seat.

The annual event encourages people to consider riding a bike to work, but a secondary goal is to raise awareness about cyclists on roadways commuting to and from work each day, often during busy rush-hour periods.

The goal of the promotion is to help would-be bicyclists realize that riding their bike to work is a realistic possibility in greater Cincinnati, according to Pat LaFleur with Metro. 

“Whether for recreation or as the first or last mile of a customer's commute, we've always seen bikes and buses as two forms of transportation that go hand-in-hand,” he said.

Beyond the fare promotion, Metro and TANK are sponsoring this year’s Breakfast on the Bridge event Friday morning in the Newport side of the Purple People Bridge.

The organization Tri-State Trails will host a demonstration of how to use the bus bike racks. Trailhead Coffee and Lil’s Bagels will be available to those who attend.

First-timers, casual riders and die-hard bike enthusiasts are all invited to attend. This is the 13th year for the event.

Wade Johnston, director of Tri-State Trails, said events like those Friday are key to showing people that there are multiple ways to get around town.

Johnston, an avid cyclist, often commutes to downtown Cincinnati from his home in Mount Washington on the east side of the Beechmont Levee. Progress has been made in terms of building out local roadway infrastructure, but it can still be a “treacherous” ride for cyclists across the city.

He often takes the bus as part of his trip.

“There are a lot of people in our region who don’t have access to or don’t want to rely on a car, so biking to work is a great alternative for them,” Johnston said. Unfortunately, our region is still working on building out high-quality bike and trail infrastructure. Until we realize that full connectivity, using the bus is a great way to plan your transportation without a car.”

The event will go from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Organizers plan to take a group photo at 8 a.m.

More information on how to bike and ride, as well as a video explaining how to use the bus bike racks, are available on the Metro and TANK websites.

Breakfast on the Bridge is the signature event of Bike Month in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. There are a variety of bike-related events taking place throughout the region throughout the month of May ranging from charity rides to happy hours to information sessions.

A full list of events is available on the Tri-State Trails website.