Photo credit: Janet LaFleur

Last week, SVBC sent a letter (SVBC letter to Caltrain JPB) to the Caltrain Joint Powers Board (JPB) in advance of their December 6 meeting regarding the ongoing concern over bike security on the future electrified trains. This has been an issue of concern for the bike community since last year, when the JPB approved the final design of the electrified train sets which include two bike cars with less seats within view of bikes than today. With new funding available for longer trains, Caltrain has the opportunity to potentially reconfigure train layout to address bike theft on-board. The December 6 meeting included a discussion of the new cars and bike security and we will continue to work with Caltrain to resolve this issue in 2019.

Bike security, on and off board, is the number one concern of SVBC and our members, as this will determine the comfort and convenience of being able to bike to and from Caltrain. There are already a number of bikes stolen on and off board per year. Caltrain staff have taken on an internal effort over the past year to streamline the reporting process for bike theft and make it easier for people to access the lost and found. We thank them for this. These are important points of progress but more needs to be done to prevent bikes from being stolen in the first place.

SVBC worked to defeat Prop. 6 in California, which among other things, would have eliminated a funding source for Caltrain electrification supporting longer trains, wifi capability on board, and improved bike parking at stations. With Pop. 6 defeated and that funding now secure, Caltrain announced last week that they will use the funding to purchase additional cars, expanding the electrified fleet from 16 six-car trainsets to 19 seven-car trainsets. Additionally,

The interior configuration of the trains will be informed by a public process in 2019. That discussion will include an assessment of design alternatives to address bike security concerns and an exploration of policy considerations related to onboard and wayside bicycle storage, and how to balance the needs of bicyclists against the need for capacity improvements for all riders.

Do you ride a bike to or from Caltrain and want to get more involved? Contact Emma Shlaes emma@bikesiliconvalley.org

Want to provide further input to Caltrain on the future of the service? Caltrain is also working on their business plan and wants input on what you think is important about Caltrain service, including its benefits to and challenges for you and your community. Take their short 2-3 minute survey and be sure to talk about how you use your bike with Caltrain and what would be useful to you.