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Caltrain is busy changing from diesel to electrical propulsion. However in response to Caltrain rider, bike advocate, and sometimes-Streetsblog-contributor Shirley Johnson, the company continues to be speaking about decreasing the variety of bike areas on the brand new electrical trains. That’s why the group she helped discovered, “BIKES ONBoard,” lately began an on-line petition to push Caltrain to take care of a ratio of eight seats-to-every bike area. “The [Caltrain] Board mandated an eight-to-one ratio on electrified trains in 2015,” defined Johnson, however Caltrain workers is attempting to wiggle out of that mandate.
From the petition:
Caltrain plans to affect its line and run six-car electrical trains, which have fewer seats and fewer bike capability than in the present day’s diesel trains and no devoted seats inside view of bikes. I urge Caltrain to run eight-car (as an alternative of six-car) electrical trains with seats inside view of bikes. Eight-car trains with 96 bike areas per practice fulfill the board-mandated 8:1 ratio of seats-to-bike-spaces and supply extra capability for all Caltrain passengers.
Total, the present bike area depend is 77 bike areas per practice. For electrified trains, Caltrain workers is proposing solely 72 bike areas per practice, 36 in every of two bike automobiles.
As Streetsblog reported final 12 months, Caltrain workers is attempting to assert a internet improve in bike capability as a result of they’ll be working extra trains. However Johnson has identified that given the expansion in transportation demand on the Peninsula, these trains will instantly replenish, leaving extra cyclists stranded on the platforms – until present bike-to-seat ratios are maintained or elevated.
In 2014, Caltrain surveyed riders particularly to learn the way many individuals depend upon bikes attending to and from the stations on its system, as a information for working and designing the brand new electrical fleet.
Some outcomes beneath:
And right here’s a have a look at how many individuals carry bikes on board, at the very least among the time:
Bikes Board First
In associated information, Caltrain has introduced that this week it would broaden its “Bikes Board First” pilot.
From the Caltrain launch:
Bicyclists on the northbound platforms on the Sunnyvale and Hillsdale Stations, and the southbound platform on the 22nd Avenue Station, will likely be allowed to board bike automobiles first. Passengers with bicycles are inspired to board the bike automobiles on the southern finish of the platform. Caltrain workers will likely be available at these stations to implement the coverage, which might stop bicyclists from having to navigate by way of a crowd of riders blocking the doorway. These boardings will likely be timed and in comparison with the usual boarding course of to find out if this new strategy might make general Caltrain service extra environment friendly.
In April, Caltrain began Bikes Board First in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood Metropolis and located it lowered dwell time and delays. “Bikes-board-first has two distinct benefits (1) bike riders have first selection of seats within the bike automobile to protect bikes towards theft, and (2) walk-on passengers can board at different doorways to hurry boarding,” wrote Johnson in an e-mail. “We applaud Caltrain for conducting this pilot.”
Talking of theft, BIKES ONBoard can also be advocating for higher safety on the brand new electrical fleet. They need to be certain bikes are distributed among the many automobiles, in order that riders have a very good shot at sitting in a spot the place they’ll keep watch over their steeds. Caltrain prefers devoted bike automobiles with bikes on the primary degree and the seats on the second degree. “So you wouldn’t have the ability to see your bike in any respect,” mentioned Johnson in a cellphone interview with Streetsblog. “This format is a theft magnet; Caltrain would by no means ask somebody to place baggage or a laptop computer in a automobile the place they’ll’t see it, however they’re asking somebody with a bicycle to do this.”
Once more, the petition is accessible right here.
“BIKES ONBoard” can also be asking for assist from Caltrain riders to get extra individuals to signal the petition and become involved, by handing out enterprise playing cards for the group. Should you’re concerned about serving to with outreach, contact them on to bikesonboard [at] sonic.internet.