Letter: Caltrain needs to rethink proposed bike policy | June 12, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

Viewpoint - June 12, 2019

Letter: Caltrain needs to rethink proposed bike policy

I have been a Caltrain rider for over 40 years. I have seen Caltrain progress from not allowing any bicycles on trains to becoming one of the best transit agencies for allowing bikes onboard.

Being able to take a bicycle on the train is critical to using the train as a substitute for a car. It allows train riders to use multiple stations, run errands and meet clients during the day. Without the ability to have my bicycle with me, I could not do this. This is true for many other regular train riders as well.

For many people the train/bike combination is the only way to get to work, as they cannot afford a car. Caltrain passengers with bicycles are the only class of train riders who are denied boarding at the platform. For some people this can cause them to lose a job. All other Caltrain passengers are always allowed to board the train.

The current staff proposal for electric train layout reduces bicycle space and encourages bike theft. Having only two bike cars, rather than four, will increase dwell time, causing delays; and force passengers with bikes to stand in the aisle, making it hard for people to restack bikes and move in and out of the train. Additionally, it will cut capacity from 77 to 72 bikes per train at a time when demand is growing.

Caltrain can do better than the current staff proposal.

Bob Mack

Publisher, Cycle California! Magazine

San Jose

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