Caltrain has made a concession to commuters who have long complained about the lack of space for bicycles on trains, pledging to add room for eight bicycles to each train.
Under the plan — which Caltrain expects to implement before summer — bike capacity would increase from 32 to 40 in standard trains, and from 16 to 24 in the newer "Bombardier" trains. The new bike racks will replace seats in each bike car.
The trains' lack of space for bicycles sometimes forces conductors to bar riders from bringing their bikes onto trains during rush hour. Caltrain estimates that 6 percent of its weekday customers bike to the train.
In a press release, the agency said it considered several methods for adding bike space, but settled on this plan because it would not cause as much disruption in service as some of the other options. It promised to "continue the active, engaging and passionate dialogue with the bicycle community."
Caltrain officials estimate that the process of adding two bike racks to each car will cost $200,000.
In the past, officials have bristled at the idea of removing seats. "To remove seats and replace them with bike racks would mean giving up paying customers with non-paying bicycles," the agency writes on its Web site. "This is counterproductive."