BIKES ONboard FAQ
Responses to Misconceptions about Bikes on Caltrain
Misconception #1: Bike space costs Caltrain money by taking away seats from paying passengers.
Most other passengers are subsidized more than bicyclists, because non-bicycling passengers require parking lots or publicly subsidized buses and/or shuttles at one or both ends of their commute. Bicyclists do not require any of these costly additions for their commute.
Misconception #2: Bicyclists get a free space for their bikes, so it's not fair.
Misconception #3: The trains are already filled to capacity, so seats cannot be removed to add more bike space.
Misconception #4: Bicyclists delay the trains by taking too long to board and exit.
Caltrain requires that bicyclists board last. Any boarding delay, no matter who caused it, gets blamed on cyclists.
Caltrain's on-time performance has hovered around 95% since 2003, while the number of bicycle passengers has increased by over 60% since then. There appears to be no correlation between the number of bicycle passengers and on-time performance.
Misconception #5: Caltrain has no funds to put in more bike capacity.
It's all about priorities. Caltrain seems to have money to spend on things like costly new shuttles between stations. All it takes to make more bike space is removing seats and replacing them with bike racks. More bike racks equals more bike-passengers equals more ticket revenue for Caltrain.
Misconception #6: There could never be enough capacity to meet the demand, so we need to move the bikes off the train.
Caltrain needs to plan ahead to meet expected demand for bicyclists. There are significant financial and social benefits to Caltrain's bikes-on-board program, not just for cyclists, but for everyone.
Bicycling . . .
- reduces requirements for energy imports
- reduces traffic congestion
- reduces air pollution
- is very time efficient for the rider compared with a bus or shuttle, and in heavy traffic
- results in fewer sick days
- reduces employers' medical insurance expenses
- saves money on parking costs
- costs much less on maintenance compared to nearly any other transportation mode
Misconception #7: Bicyclists create a safety hazard to other passengers.
Caltrain has been unable to supply any reports of safety incidents between bicyclists and other passengers, or between bicycles and any passenger.