Caltrain Bikes On Board

Caltrain, the commuter train which runs from San Jose to San Francisco, allows passengers to bring bikes on board. This allows riders to bike to the station, get on with their bike and then get off at their destination and complete their trip using their bike. This program is so successful, passengers using this system sometimes discover the trains are filled and they are forced to wait for a later train.

Each train has two bike cars. On the older Gallery cars each bike car hold 40 bikes for a per train capacity of 80 bikes. The newer Bombardier cars only hold 24 bikes per car for a per train capacity of only 48 bikes.

The Caltrain BAC has a sub committee working to develop methods to provide increased bike capacity, both increases per train ( more bikes per train) and increases per day (more trains per day).

Your help is needed to provide suggestions for ways to increase capacity, help review ideas and develop these ideas, and help to persuade Caltrain to implement the best ideas. You can help by writing Caltrain in support, making a public statement at the Caltrain BAC meeting or JPB meetings. Caltrain needs to hear that Caltrain passengers want more capacity, we need to make is clear there is strong support and demand for increased capacity.

Below are some ideas to increase capacity. Please review. Join and use our google group bikesmc to get involved discussing and working to get the best ideas implemented.

1. Change from the current 4 bikes per rack to allow either 4 bikes per rack or more until bikes reach the aisle line marker. The could allow up to 20 more bikes on a Gallery train and 12 more bikes on Bombardier trains.

2. Add a third bike car to Bombardier trains. This would increase per train capacity from 48 to 72. This will both provide more consistent capacity as well as add capacity

Caltrain is currently looking to purchase more Bombardier cars, we should insist these new cars are bike cars.

3. Run more trains. this would provide more daily capacity.

4. Add train cars. Not all stations can accommodate longer trains, so this would be limited to stations with enough platform length. If more Bombardier cars are purchased, these could added to  express Bombardier trains which usually only stop at larger stations.

More at Caltrain Bikes On Board.

The next Caltrain BAC meeting is in September, the bike capacity subcommittee hopes to meet with Caltrain staff in August to review these and more ideas. If you have any comments or suggestions either email to bikesmc@hotmail.com or use our google group bikesmc to discuss.


The Courteous Bicyclist                        

In looking for ways to enhance or initiate safe transportation infrastructure amenities and to ensure our right to travel as legitimate street traffic, many of us joined organizations, attended public agency meetings, and wrote letters to elected officials.  As the success of these efforts has served to promote more documented everyday bicycle usage, it has also brought the unintended consequence of increased friction among the user groups of motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.  Bicyclists who pay no heed to the Vehicle Code, undermine all the hard effort put forth to provide better bicycle accommodation.  Although most bicyclists ride safely and lawfully, there remain enough two-wheeled scofflaws on our streets and sidewalks who continue to underscore the notion that "Bikes DON'T Belong".

Bicyclists tend to overlook their most direct opportunity toward achieving safety and accommodation which involves no funding, no new laws, or waiting for advocacy groups to organize.  Rather than reinforcing an image of bicycle outlaws, it has become the mandate for each cyclist to become an individual ambassador to demonstrate that street space is deserved because of mutual user respect.

Bike San Mateo County has authored "The Courteous Road User's Guide" to provide guidelines for all road users on how best to accommodate everyone. In addition to defining how bicyclists should conduct themselves, it explains how motorists can accommodate  bicyclists by recognizing the specific hazards bicyclists must avoid and explains why bicyclists sometimes need to "Take the Lane" in order to ride safely.  The intent of the Guide is to provide a simple educational blueprint to encourage individual responsibility to meet the social and codified obligations that all must undertake to ensure that our public thoroughfares retain and continue to maintain safe accommodation for every user.

For a downloadable copy of "The Courteous Road User's Guide" go to: http://bikesmc.org/CourteousRoadUserGuideR1April2012.pdf


Thanks Mike

This December 2013 we lost a good friend, bicyclist and a great champion for bicycling. Mike Harding past away in December after a year long illness. For decades Mike worked to promote and improve bicycling in our community. He was that dependable guy that was always there to help out, getting involved to provide his experience on numerous local issues and spending hundreds of hours attending meetings and community events to help make bicycling better. Mike loved his bike and always wanted to share this with others.

One of Mike's projects was getting the bicycle/pedestrian bridge built on San Mateo Drive in Menlo Park. In honor and memory of Mike an effort is being made to have this bridge named to honor and respect Mike. Please help this effort by writing to the Menlo Park City Council. Send your support to the Menlo Park City Council at citycouncil@menlopark.org and cc to greg.klingsporn@retrotech.org. Greg is the chair of the Menlo Park bicycle commission.

Below are some pictures of Mike. If you have any pictures you would like posted here please email them to bikesmc@hotmail.com. Also if you would like to add your memories of Mike, let us know.

Mike was such a great guy and we all owe him a great deal of thanks.