Thousands of people depend on Caltrain every day as a convenient and sustainable way to commute between San Francisco and the Peninsula. The SF Bicycle Coalition continues to work on improving access and capacity on Caltrain so you can combine bikes and transit to get around.
Since 2004, the number of passengers bringing their bike on Caltrain has grown 364%. Thanks to the advocacy of our BIKES ONboard team and Caltrain’s leadership, bike capacity was increased in 2009 to include two bike cars for every train. While this was a huge help for the many who need their bike to commute every day to and from Caltrain, people continue to get “bumped” every day due to limited bike capacity. Join our campaign today and support our work in advocating for bikes and transit.
Caltrain is renewing their Strategic Plan, which will “establish a common vision for the agency and will frame key policy, service and investment decisions over the next 10 years.” Our formal comment has been submitted and published here. Included in this letter, our recommendations to Caltrain are to:
1. Increase bicycle capacity on Caltrain in the near-term and long-term
- Retrofit at least half of the Bombardier cars into bike cars as part of the near-term purchase
- Conduct analysis on other near-term improvements to increase bike capacity with results published publicly
- Increase bike capacity on the new car purchase as part of Caltrain electrification and modernization
2. Increase wayside facilities to increase secure bicycle parking at Caltrain stations
3. Allow for priority boarding for passengers with bicycles on bike cars in order to speed the boarding process for all passengers
4. Develop a system for communicating real-time bike capacity
5. Develop a plan for integrating Bay Area Bike Share expansion into the future of Caltrain
1. Submit your bike bump regularly. Right now, Caltrain only records bumps as part of their annual ridership report. Our BIKES ONboard team compiles all the submissions and we publish this information regularly. The more you are able to submit, the more accurate our information is!
2. Attend a Caltrain meeting. There are three regular meetings where you can speak directly to decision makers at Caltrain.
3. Make sure you know the rules! Not sure how to bring your bike on Caltrain? Take a look at the rules and be a respectful passenger to others.
Caltrain has been a leader when it comes to bikes and transit, and the work of bicycle advocates has helped the process along.
1982: Southern Pacific Railroad introduces a four-month demonstration project, allowing 4 bikes in the aisle of the cab car
1992: Caltrain is established and bike space is created, allowing 8 bikes per train
1996: Caltrain increases the bike space, allowing 24 bikes per train
2002: Caltrain increases to 32 bikes on Gallery bike cars but only 16 bikes on new Bombardier bike cars
2004: Caltrain Strategic Plan recommends “improved access” for bicycles and states that Caltrain must “encourage bicycling and walking to stations by providing related facilities and amenities”
2009: Caltrain increases to 40 bikes on Gallery bike cars and 24 bikes on Bombardier bike cars, and upgrades all Bombardier trains to two bike cars
2011: Caltrain upgrades all Gallery trains to two bike cars
Our BIKES ONboard team has been working to increase access and capacity for bicycles on Caltrain for years. They have also written reports to analyze the numbers of how increasing access and capacity increases revenue, ridership and overall performance of Caltrain. Read the reports below (links directly to pdf).