Caltrain is the commuter rail service between San Jose and San Francisco funded by Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco Counties and operated by Samtrans. With 92 trains each weekday and bike capacity ranging from 48 to 80 bikes per train, Caltrain this year carries 53,000 passengers each day, 6,000 of whom bring their bikes on board the train. Commute time trains depart from both San Jose and San Francisco each day at 96% to 125% seated capacity.
Caltrain staffers are creating a series of “Bikes on Caltrain” videos for Caltrain riders. They’re taking feedback to gauge common themes and possible issues for their first video “Bikes on Caltrain: How to Board/Disembark.”
I don’t routinely ride Caltrain anymore so I might have missed a few things, but here’s the list I submitted to Caltrain’s survey:
- Cleats on metal stairs are slick. Rain magnifies that slickness. Be careful.
- Panniers, helmets dangling from handlebars, etc. get in the way. Remove them when stacking your bike
- Turn off your stroboscopic lights before boarding the train.
- Don’t bring your good bike.
- If you bring your brand new Scott Addict SL (retail over $12,000), don’t gripe when somebody stacks their bike on top of it.
- Conversely, when stacking, at least pretend to be a little bit mindful of the protruding mechanical bits on the other bikes.
- Giants game day = Caltrain bike cars jammed with coolers, backpacks, drunks, etc.
- If your bike is at the top of the stack for a busy station, remove your bike early so everybody else can get at their bikes.
- Seat space is at a premium. Don’t store your backpacks there.
- On gallery cars, don’t block the stairs to the upper level with your bike.
What are your top 10 tips? Tell Caltrain to include them in their video.