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Controversial Plan To Tackle Bike 'Bumping' On Trains

Should a packed commuter train remove seats to make room for cyclists or charge to bring bikes on board during peak hours? The Caltrain line between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the first to accommodate cyclists, is wrestling with this issue.
August 23, 2008, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"'Leaving San Jose anytime between 5 and 7 (p.m.) is just nuts,' said Robert Cox, who rides the train there from his home in Redwood City. 'I've seen people get bumped a lot and it's just going to get worse.'

That's not news to Caltrain, which recently completed a report that recommends several possible solutions such as building more bike lockers at stations, starting a bike sharing program or charging a fee for allowing bikes during peak ridership hours.

But bikers, who now make up an estimated 8 percent of Caltrain's weekday riders, say the report misses the point, and that the train services should free up some space for their bikes either by removing more seats or adding more train cars."

"Caltrain's Bicycle Parking and Access Plan, released last week, gives a broad look at issues bicyclists face when using Caltrain.

It was initially called the Bicycle Master Plan, but cyclists complained that it focused on parking and access at Caltrain stations and ignored the 80 percent of cyclists who carry their bikes on the train. So the name was changed, but bikers say the focus didn't change much."

"The (San Francisco Bicycle) coalition crafted its own bicycle plan, which it distributed to Caltrain board members at a recent meeting. (Andy) Thornley, (program director) said he hopes officials will consider their suggestions, including taking out more seats".

Caltrain: Bike Plan Available for Review
Planetizen: Bikes on Trains: The Downside Of A Popular Program
SF Bicycle Coalition: Caltrain and Bikes - Have you been left behind?

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Published on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 in San Mateo Daily News
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