South San Francisco, CA September 13, 2017 Submitted by Robert Riechel, San Bruno Community Leader
Dear Bicycle Commuters and Supporters,
We urgently need your help! Caltrain staff is recommending a DECREASE in bike capacity on electrified trains (scheduled for 2021) even though the Caltrain Board unanimously approved an INCREASE in bike capacity!
Please write to Caltrain now before they finalize train design later this month! Click here to send an email to the Caltrain Board and copy all the right folks.* We have successfully changed Caltrain’s mind in the past, but it took many voices to make it happen. Please add your voice by writing to Caltrain today!
Suggested talking points:
- Tell Caltrain why bringing your bike on board is important to you, and whether you have ever been bumped (left behind on the platform due to insufficient bike capacity).
- Thank the board for unanimously approving in July 2015 an electrified train design with increased bike capacity. The board overrode staff’s recommendation for a seat-to-bike ratio of 9:1 (same as today) and approved a ratio of 8:1.
- Express concern that staff is proposing to meet the 8:1 ratio by removing 200 seats and 5 bike spaces on electrified trains compared with trains today. That’s a 25% decrease in seat capacity and a 7% decrease in bike capacity! Electrified trains would have only 569 seats and 72 bike spaces.
- Clarify that electrified trains need 672 seats and 84 bike spaces to adequately meet the board’s directive for increased bike capacity at the 8:1 ratio.
- Explain that staff’s plan for one more train per hour in 2021 does not meet the board’s directive. The board knew about the extra train, but still unanimously approved increased bike capacity in train design. The board acknowledged that walk-on passengers can all get on the train even if there aren’t enough seats, but bikes-on-board passengers will get bumped if there isn’t enough bike capacity.
- Remind the board that seats need to be near bikes so passengers can watch their bikes to prevent theft, but the proposed design has only folding seats at the same location as hanging bikes and wheelchair space. This is a recipe for passenger conflict.
- Suggest that a great solution would be to distribute 84 bike spaces among all cars. This would allow space for seats near bikes, dedicated wheelchair space, and also shorten boarding time by enabling all passengers to board at all doors.
- Include your city of residence when you sign your name.
For detailed supporting information including references, please see “Concerns about Caltrain Electrified Train Design“.
Email Caltrain now, then come and speak up at the Caltrain Board meeting at 10am, Thursday, October 5 at 1250 San Carlos Avenue in San Carlos. We all worked so hard to get the Caltrain Board to approve more bike capacity on electrified trains. Let’s hold Caltrain to their promise!
Please forward this email to other bike riders and anyone who cares about bicycle commuting.
More bikes, no bumps,
On behalf of the ol’ BIKES ONboard crew
*Email email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. That is, to the Caltrain Board with copies to Caltrain modernization staff, Caltrain Bicycle Advisory Committee, Caltrain Citizen Advisory Committee, and us at BIKES ONboard.