The Caltrain Board of Directors approved a bicycle access policy that will increase peak-hour bike capacity and provide more bike amenities at stations that give riders convenient alternatives to bringing a bike onboard.
Currently, Caltrain carries over 6,000 bicycles per weekday, more than any other rail system in the United States. When the electrified service launches in 2022, all electric trainsets will have two dedicated bike cars. The result is a 17 percent increase in systemwide bike capacity during peak hours. In response to requests from cyclists concerned about bike security, the Board also approved reconfiguring the cars to add more seats in the bike cars.
The policy also invests $3.5 million in improving bike storage and pursuing shared micromobility options like scooter and bike share at stations throughout the corridor. As an immediate next step, Caltrain will take advantage of the region’s growing interest in expanding bike share options by requesting information for the creation of a corridor-wide bike share network that allows riders to access their final destination via bike without needing to bring one on the train.
In addition to increased bike capacity, the electric train design will also increase systemwide peak-hour capacity for general seating and standing room by 30 percent. Currently, some peak-hour trains are at 135 percent capacity, and with the Caltrain Business Plan projecting a potential 300 percent increase in system demand by 2040, it is clear Caltrain has to expand capacity for all riders. A survey conducted by Caltrain showed that 79 percent of riders viewed increasing seating capacity for riders as a high priority, and 52 percent considered increasing bike capacity a high priority.
“Improving access and security for bike riders helps us work towards more people being able to ride Caltrain,” said Caltrain Board Chair Gillian Gillett. “By increasing service, providing improved amenities and more options, we can help even more people access Caltrain by bike.”
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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