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Bikes are Turned Away From the Train Even on Spare the Air Days

Original post made by carol, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Jul 8, 2008

We are being encouraged to use public transportation, but it seem no one has informed the providers of the public transportation.

Every day at commute times, people with bikes are being turned away from the bike car of the train because there isn't enough room. Now there are some new cars with even less room.

With the soaring gas prices and all the recent Spare the Air days, it seems only natural that the operators of the train would prepare for the increase in the number of riders.

Who needs to be called to rectify this situation? We've called and so far our questions have fallen on deaf ears.

Comments (3)

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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 8, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Caltrain knows they are in a bind on the issue of bicycles on trains; they've discussed it in their newsletters. Bikes take up more space than people, and they don't pay fares. So adding more bike racks means less space for paying passengers. Caltrain can't run trains longer than 5 cars because of the length of some of the station platforms. A number of their cars are down for repairs now--I don't know if any of those are bike-rack cars. And train cars have a long lead time to order and build, so they couldn't expand capacity 'overnight' even if they wanted to.

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Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 8, 2008 at 5:54 pm

This has been covered quite extensively on google groups.

Web Link


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm

The real need for bicycles on trains is the problem here. Imagine commuters of the London Underground or the New York subway trying to take bikes on trains!! I don't know, but does BART have a policy for bikes on trains.

What we should really be discussing is the atrocious inadequacies of our Caltrain stations. The trains run up and down the Peninsula but don't have any kind of organized system of getting people to and from the stations to and from where they want to go. If I want to go by bus to my local Caltrain station I have to take one or perhaps two buses, or have a 30 minute walk. These two buses each need two tickets. When I get off Caltrain, I have to take one or two buses or another 30 minute walk with once again two more tickets. This plus the Caltrain ticket means possibly 5 separate tickets for one way journey and then of course the same number for the return journey. We should be able to get to the Caltrain station get on the train and then get to where we want on one ticket.

With difficulties like this, it makes sense for people to want to take their bikes on the trains.

If we could get people to and from the stations without bikes it may help.

People don't take bikes on trains for any reasons other than security or convenience. If we made it more secure to leave bikes at stations, had day rental bikes at other stations, and improved convenience to get to stations, we would not have the bikes on the trains issues and could take more passengers.

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