Caltrain says a pilot program that aims to improve on-time performance by allowing bike commuters to board ahead of other passengers is working -- and that it will expand the program next month.
The Peninsula transit agency launched the "Bikes Board First" pilot last month, targeting San Francisco-bound trains during the morning rush hour at three stations: Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City.
In a presentation prepared for Thursday's meeting of Caltrain's Bicycle Advisory Committee, the agency says the program produced a marked improvement at two of the three pilot stations.
Average "dwell times" -- the period trains spent idling during station stops -- dropped a cumulative 2 minutes for eight Mountain View runs.
Caltrain spokesman Dan Lieberman described Mountain View as a "bike-intensive station" prone to longer delays than the other stations in the pilot. The dwell time on one usually slow-boarding run, the northbound 8:04 a.m. train, dropped from 2 minutes and 16 seconds to an average of 1 minute and 4 seconds.