Bicycle Frequently Asked Questions
How many bikes are allowed on the train?
- Caltrain operates two types of train cars:
Gallery (enter through one door) and Bombardier (enter through two doors). The gallery train set can accomodate 80 bikes (40 in each of two bike cars), while the Bombardier train set can handle 48 bikes (24 in each of two bike cars). The gallery and Bombardier sets aren't always used on the same train numbers.
Why can’t the seats in the Caltrain bike car be reserved for only bicyclists?
To answer that, we look to guidance provided by the federal Department of Transportation.
Department of Transportation Americans with Disabilities Act regulation 49 Code of Federal Regulations section 37.167(j) requires transit operators to request that riders move to allow an individual with a disability to sit in priority seating and requires the posting of signs identifying priority seats, also stating that able-bodied riders should make seats available to passengers with disabilities. The regulation then goes on to relieve operators of any requirement to force riders who say "no" to moving.
Consistent with 49 CFR section 37.167, Caltrain doesn’t require people sitting in priority seats to move to accommodate individuals with disabilities - who are a protected class. So, to require such movement from non-bike users to accommodate bike riders would be inconsistent, essentially placing the rights of bike riders on a higher level than the rights of people with disabilities.
Why not add extra cars to the train every day?
The rolling stock is not technically designed to be coupled and uncoupled frequently. Also, varying train lengths would make our service less reliable for both bike riders and non-bike customers. All our customers are entitled to know what they can expect in terms of capacity and bike service when a train arrives at the station at its scheduled time.
If I can't take my bike on the train, what can I do with it?
- San Francisco station offers free attended bike-parking. Call 415.590.3077 for info.
- Mountain View offers a secure bike shelter. Call 650.903.6311 for details.
- Menlo Park has a secure bike shelter.
- Tamien and southern Santa Clara County stations lockers are handled by the Valley Transportation Authority. Call 408.321.7520 for details.
Caltrain and its municipal partners offer many wayside bicycle amenities. Bike lockers, offered at most stations, can be rented in six-month increments for $5.50 per month. For information on renting a bicycle locker, first visit www.caltrain.com/bikelockers to verify availability at your station before submitting an application. Some stations also offer on-demand electronic lockers.
Other station-side options include:
Are there space restrictions for folding bikes?
Folding bikes are allowed on any train car as they are no wider than 32 inches at the widest point.
Folding bikes must be in the folded position prior to boarding and must remain under the control of the owner while on board. Folding bikes must be able to be stored under the seat in front of you or be placed in the luggage racks provided by Caltrain.
Folding bikes may not be placed on seats and must not block aisles, stairs or vestibules. Folding bikes may not be stored in the space reserved for passengers in wheelchairs.
Dirt or grease from folding bikes must not be transferred to the interior of the car, other passengers, or crew members. If the bike is dirty, it must be placed in a bag to prevent soiling of the rail car. It is at the conductors' discretion to reject the boarding of a folding bike that they determine is not protected and appears to be greasy or dirty.
Folding bikes that are not in the bike rack must remain folded until the passenger has fully left the train.
1/13/14 - rph