More Bicycles on Caltrain's Baby Bullet No biker left behind!
Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board
Cyclists on Caltrain
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The new baby bullet express trains only accommodate 16 bicycles, down from either 32 or even 64 spaces on the regular trains. This is disappointing to many cyclists, who have waited for 2 years without weekend train service and were expecting an improved commute as a result. Simply going to a two-bike car bullet train with 32 spaces would be 100\% better (literally!).
Californians are supposed to be Earth conscious and environmentally friendly. Caltrain is making it more difficult for us to do whats best. Would you rather we drive to the stations, waste natural resources and pollute like the rest? How many gallons of gas are all the cyclists on Caltrain saving? Isnt that what public transportation is all about? Caltrain is trying to encourage cyclists to keep a bike at both ends of their trip. But without adequate attended parking or bike lockers, this is not feasible for most commuters who want to avoid bike theft. Not to mention the added cost of buying and maintaining a second bicycle.
A change in attitude is also necessary. Conductors should treat all paying passengers the same. Bicyclists are not second-class passengers, and shouldnt be mistreated as such. We get enough grief from other passengers and risk our lives every day fighting traffic. Only two Caltrain Conductors, Suki and Booker, understand and treat cyclists with courtesy and respect. It is no coincidence that their trains operate smoothly and without the stress and conflict seen on every other train. The easy excuse given is that, Were just doing what we are told. If this is true, then the conductors need to be told something different. We already are going against the common thought and practices. Having the conductors add to the antagonistic relationship between cyclists and pedestrians is not helping anyone.
It is a fact that there is one extra baby bullet bike car. Every day we see the two-bike car bullet train. Most days, the conductors will bar entrance to the second bike car, again, on orders from above. This is not a smart use of available resources. If the car is there, let us use it! Spreading out the bicyclists will be quicker and easier for everyone. It will also cut down on the number of cyclists left behind.
Better still, if Caltrain can schedule it so that the two-bike car trains run at a certain time, every day, then we can be better prepared for it when it comes into the station. Caltrain should also schedule this two-bike car train for the busiest times to alleviate congestion and forcing people to stay behind, being late to work, or delaying their commute home.
It has been almost a month since the baby bullet service has started. While it is a commendable first effort, its now time to consider the cyclists as well. We are not going away and we will not be ignored. Please ask for our input in future decisions to avoid embarrassing mistakes like this one. We are glad to help, and together we can make this a successful and mutually beneficial endeavor.
We, the undersigned, demand that Caltrain add more bicycle capacity to their baby bullet trains so that there be no biker left behind!