The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Bike Aboard! program will continue in 2013, but the price bicyclists pay will increase a dollar.
The fee for the popular program, which attracted nearly 22,000 bicyclists this year, will be raised from $2 to $3, railroad spokesman Kelly Steele-Moore said.
“Even at $3, we feel that it’s still a great bargain,” she said.
Bicyclists pay to have their bikes loaded and unloaded from the tourist railroad and for space, if not always a seat, on the train.
The program runs from April through October. It provides bicyclists with an alternative transportation link in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with rail service between Akron and Independence.
Bicylists can pedal one way on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, then hop aboard the train to return to their starting point.
Steele-Moore said the railroad generally was pleased with this year’s numbers for Bike Aboard!
The program, which is weather-dependent, attracted 21,834 bicyclists, despite sizzling summer heat and numerous rainy weekends from August through October, she said.
“We always hope for more, but we’re really at Mother Nature’s mercy,” she said.
That 2012 total is a big jump from the 11,968 bicyclists who participated in the program in 2011, when major track repairs and bad weather hindered the railroad.
The program drew 23,776 bicyclists in 2010; 20,673 in 2009; 18,252 in 2008; and 6,248 in 2007, the first year of Bike Aboard!
The Bike Aboard! fee had been raised to $3 temporarily in 2011, due to a higher fuel surcharge the railroad imposed.
The railroad has received grant money in the past to help fund the program.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org