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Advocates Make Final Push for Bikes on New Caltrain Fleet

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Advocates up and down the Peninsula are making a last push before tomorrow/Thursday morning's Caltrain Board Meeting to make the new electric fleet as bike-friendly as possible.

From an email blast from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition's Emma Shlaes:

This Thursday, June 6, Caltrain will make its final decision on bike car design for the future electrified train system. SVBC has been working with Caltrain for years on the design of the new train cars to be as bike friendly as possible. Unfortunately, the staff recommendation for two bike cars on seven car trains raises serious concerns around bike security onboard.

Our overwhelming concern with the staff recommendation is that it only provides seven seats per 36 bike spaces on each bike car. We’ve heard from our members that there are real fears of bike theft onboard and that seven seats in bike cars are not enough for people to feel secure.

This decision will affect Caltrain passengers for decades to come, so let’s make sure Caltrain continues to be a bike-friendly system into the future. Find out how to email the Caltrain Board and/or attend the meeting Thursday on our blog.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is making a similar appeal:

The current proposal for their future electrified train cars provides inadequate security for people bringing their bikes on board, and we need to let the Caltrain Board know before they make their big decision on Thursday.

....We need you to write to the Caltrain Board to remind them of their commitment to their riders by demanding the following:

  • Reject the staff recommendation of two bike cars
  • Urge the approval of three or more bike cars to provide adequate seating in view of bike spaces
  • Direct staff to develop robust implementation strategies for increasing security of bikes onboard, building secure bike parking at stations and rapidly growing bike-share

And last but definitely not least, Shirley Johnson, who helped found BIKES ONBoard specifically to advocate for more bike space on the region's transit systems, had this to say:

Caltrain staff’s “new” proposed bike-car layout is the same as their original proposal – two bike cars with 36 bike spaces in each bike car and no fixed seats within view of bikes. It encourages bike theft, has fewer bike spaces than today’s trains, and does not meet the board-mandated 8:1 ratio of seats-to-bike-spaces. The only minor change from the original layout is the addition of four folding seats in each bike car. Bike theft will likely increase with this “new” layout compared with today. Today’s bike cars have at least one seat within view of two bike spaces – and bikes still get stolen from the train. Caltrain should not take a step backwards!

Be sure to email Caltrain [board@caltrain.com, bac@caltrain.com]. Or attend the board meeting and speak out, tomorrow/Thursday, June 6, 10 a.m., SamTrans Administrative Offices, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos.

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