For many people commuting on the Caltrain corridor, bicycles are necessary for the first and last mile to and from the station. Some people park their bikes at the station or use Bay Area Bike Share to complete their commute, but many depend on bringing their bikes on board.
This number is rapidly growing; bike ridership now constitutes 13% of overall passengers on Caltrain. Due to limited bike capacity, though, as many as 300 riders per month get “bumped.” This means people are being denied access due to lack of bike space, even if there is a seat or standing room still available. We want your help to change that.
We were happy to share with you in September that the Caltrain Board of Directors approved a purchase for 16 cars to alleviate the overall growing ridership and demand for providing reliable and comfortable service. Thanks to the outpouring of support, Caltrain is now considering rehabilitating up to six cars into bike cars. This would mean not only an increase of 144 bike spaces during peak commute hours but also an additional 684 seats, and that’s just on these six cars alone.
We are excited that Caltrain has proposed this option, and your support is needed for its final approval. Come to the next Caltrain Board meeting in January and let them know how important bike access on Caltrain is for you.
Caltrain Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, January 8 at 10AM
Caltrain Headquarters at 1250 San Carlos Ave, San Carlos, CA
Caltrain has been quick to address their growing demand while also making plans for accommodating ridership growth in the future as well. As a formal response to Caltrain, we recently joined with our bike advocates in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to jointly support their near-term and long-term initiatives for improving bike access. Read our statement here (PDF). Along with designated bike space on board, we continue to support connectivity to Caltrain through a robust, expanded bike share system and secure bike parking at their stations.
One more thing. Peninsula Press published an article highlighting Shirley Johnson, who recently was awarded a Golden Wheel Award for her tireless efforts to improve bike capacity on transit. For those who haven’t tried bringing your bike on Caltrain, maybe you’ll be inspired by this time lapse video and interview with Janet Lafleur, a woman combining biking, fashion and Caltrain for her daily commute.
Video provided thanks to Carolina Wilson at Peninsula Press