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This Sunday's bike tours promote synergy with transit

This weekend bikers can get a lift from Center City to Chestnut Hill in a SEPTA sponsored event designed to bind Philly's transit network to one of the city's new transportation trends.

A 2015 SEPTA report on how biking and public transportation can interact pointed out a 210 percent increase in bike riding since 1990. The report stated "more than 12,000 Philadelphians now bike to work each day." Philadelphia is also becoming one of the biggest biking cities on the East Coast, as shown by this graphic in the report.

Among the recommendations from the report, host events with community groups to encourage synergy between biking and trains. Sunday's event is that report's recommendation being put into action for the first time.

The event, which people can sign up for through Facebook, offers cyclists train rides to two hour and a half bike tours around Chestnut Hill. One, departing Jefferson Station at 9:45 a.m., routes bikers by the Wissahickon along Forbidden Drive. The second, from a train departing at 11:15 a.m., offers an architectural tour of Chestnut Hill. SEPTA is adding two cars to each train to accommodate passengers' bicycles. The full train information, including arrival and departure times, is here:

Riders should plan to pay for train fare and $10 for the tour. Tickets are available here.

The tour is aimed at seasoned transit hoppers, said Rebecca Collins, an event organizer for SEPTA, but she's hoping newbies will give it a try to get comfortable bringing bikes on trains.

To be sure, SEPTA doesn't typically make accommodations for a large number of bikers. Usually only two bikes are allowed per car on Regional Rail and the Norristown High Speed Line except during weekday rush hours. Bikes aren't allowed on the subways at all except during off peak hours. But SEPTA has been experimenting with different seat arrangements on cars that might make it easier to bring bikes on board.

You can read the full report to see SEPTA's other plans for how biking and transit can complement each other.