Transport leaders in Greater Manchester have agreed not to change the existing policy that prevents bikes from being carried on Metrolink.
The decision was made on Friday at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority's policy and resources committee.
Committee members heard that the modifications required to remove the seats necessary to carry four bikes per tram, across the network's vehicles, would cost at least £3m.
Under the existing Conditions of Carriage, only fully-encased folding bikes are allowed on board. Members agreed not to change this policy but clarified that covered folding bikes could be taken on board.
They also agreed to ask Stagecoach Metrolink to investigate the possibility of extending the South West Trains folding cycle lease scheme to Metrolink and to explore the possibility of a major bicycle hire scheme for Manchester City Centre and Salford.
Cllr Keith Whitmore, chairman of the policy and resources committee, said: "The authority has conducted a thorough and in-depth review into this issue, taking on board comments and evidence from all sides of the debate – including tram passengers and cycling and environmental groups.
"There are cycle-parking facilities across the Metrolink network, with more to come, and we have agreed to explore other ways to encourage cycling in Greater Manchester that will support passengers who are looking to start and complete their journey by bike.
"However, the issues associated with allowing bikes to be carried on our busy tram network, including the question of safety, mean we cannot change the existing policy."