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Are there any restrictions when bringing a bicycle on the metro rail system in Quito, Ecuador?

I'd like to use the Quito Metro, and I want to bring my bicycle with me.

Do all of the train cars allow bicycles at all times of days? Where should I put my bicycle when the train is moving? Do I have to pay extra to bring a bicycle? Are there elevators at all stations, that are large enough for a fully-loaded or cargo bicycle?

In general, what do I need to know before bringing my bicycle on the Quito Metro?

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Bicycles don't cost extra on the Quito Metro; just buy one ticket. That's the (only) good news.

While it is possible to use a bicycle on the Quito Metro, their trains & stations have been designed to be intentionally hostile to bicycle riders.

Intentionally Limited Space

It's common for trains to have one car that's bicycle-free. This is reasonable; it ensures space for strollers and wheelchairs. But Quito chose to do the opposite.

There's literally only one car with one spot for one bicycle on every train.

The one spot for your bicycle is in the first car (with the driver) at the front of the train. There is a clearly-marked blue "handicap" spot where you should wait with your bicycle for the train to arrive. The door to this car is marked with both a bicycle and a wheelchair icon. The spot to place your bicycle is the wheelchair spot. Yeah, there's only one spot on every train and it can either fit a bicycle or a wheelchair 🤦

Intentionally Limited Hours

While most cities are trying to encourage their residents to commute by bicycle due to the numerous benefits they provide the city, Quito Metro intentionally makes it impossible for cyclists to use the metro for commuting to & from work.

Cyclist commuters are literally not allowed to use the metro. Bicycles are not allowed to ride between the hours of:

  • 05:30 - 09:59
  • 16:00 - 19:59

Worse, the sun sets in Qutio before 19:59, so any cyclists who can't make it onto the train by 15:59 are being forced to ride after the sun sets -- which is extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, Quito Metro is working hard to increase cyclists deaths in this city.

Intentionally Imposed Dangers

Quito is not a very barrier-free city in-general, and it appears that they did not attempt to build their Metro (finished in 2023) any better. For example, there are no ramps to descend down to the platform. There are stairs and escalators.

Fortunately, all of the Quito Metro stations have elevators (with marked capacity for 11 people). Unfortunately, the staff will come and refuse cyclists entry into the elevators!?!

Of course, cyclists are not allowed on escalators. This makes sense because it's not safe for the cyclists and not safe for those around them.

Of course, cyclists carrying a fully-loaded bicycle back from the market up (or down) stairs is dangerous to cyclists and also those around them. Generally, it's rude for cyclists to carry a fully-loaded bike up/down stairs; if no ramps are available, it's good etiquette to take the elevator (for everyone's safety).

In all my travels on 4 Continents, I've never encountered a train station that prohibited cyclists from using the elevators.

Again, it appears that Quito Metro is intentionally trying to put cyclists (and those around them) at risk of being injured.

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  • Do you have a source for your claims here? The Metro de Quito website linked in mdewey's answer disagrees with your answer (or, at least, the parts of the answer that are an answer and not a rant) on several counts. It would be good to know if it is wrong.
    – mlc
    Commented Apr 5 at 19:33
  • I am the source. I woke up, asked the question, went to the Metro, and came back with the answer. There are signs next to the ticket selling window that indicates the hours bicycles are allowed. The wheelchair/bicycle space is the first car, not the last. At the time of writing, tickets cost $0.45, not $1.00. As is the commonly the case here, the information on the website is not correct. It's a red flag that a lot of their information on the website is provided in image format, and therefore difficult & unlikely to be updated. Commented Apr 6 at 0:22

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