Caltrain Increases Bike Capacity on Some Trains

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The new car increases capacity from 48 to 72 bikes. (Courtesy of Peninsula Moves)

Caltrain is making more room for bicycles on some of its trains starting today. A third bike car will be added to the system's Bombardier-style trains, increasing bike capacity from 48 bikes to 72. The move will mean fewer cyclists getting left behind at stations due to overcrowding.

"We know that people who ride their bikes and try to bring them on board are often bumped and unable to bring them on the train," says Chris Cassidy with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "That impacts their life dramatically. They're late getting home, late to pick up their kids, late to make dinner and late to meet their love ones."

New Bombardier train configuration.
New Bombardier train configuration. (Courtesy of Caltrain)

The third bike car will be positioned next to the existing bike car on the southern side of the train. This effectively adds a sixth car to the train, and does not reduce overall seating capacity at all.

Caltrain officials say more than 7,000 bikes are brought aboard their trains each day, about triple what they were seeing in 2004.

Cassidy sees Caltrain's addition as a promising step forward for the biking community.

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"We recently did a survey of people who bike to and from Caltrain and learned that 45 percent of people who seek to bring their bikes on board would drive if they couldn't get their bikes on Caltrain," he says. "Caltrain is encouraging active transportation and better air quality for everyone who breathes in the Bay Area."

The system's gallery train sets, which already accommodate up to 80 onboard bicycles, will continue to have two bike cars.

Caltrain will increase bike capacity even further when it electrifies its fleet in coming years.