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Caltrain solicits public input on bike storage options

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Caltrain is asking riders to vote on two train redesign options. (James Chan/Special to S.F. Examiner)

To the relief of the many cycling commuters who travel by train every day, Caltrain’s new electric trains will feature more bike storage.

The agency is asking for public input on which style of train storage to use — but, in a twist, so far riders seem to prefer the option that would store fewer bikes.

About 67 percent of Caltrain riders polled so far have chosen a “hybrid” option of storing bikes, versus a proposal called the “stacked” option, according to Caltrain.

Caltrain on Aug. 8 first floated a poll on design for its $1.98 billion electrification project. The redesign of the trains, however, offered an opportunity to cyclists who depend on Caltrain everyday to see capacity grow on the trains for bike storage.

One of two options shown to riders in the poll was a stacking option that would allow 72 bikes to be stored per train. By contrast, the “hybrid” option stores bikes in a slant along the side of the train and would only store 68 bikes per train set. That’s less capacity, and would also accommodate fewer types of bikes — but, bikes may be easier to access under the hybrid option.
In an early peek at Caltrain’s poll online, courtesy of the agency, it seems most riders prefer the hybrid option.

“We definitely have been surprised people have been more interested in that [lower capacity option], according to the poll,” Emma Shlaes, policy manager of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, said. “But,” she added, “who knows? There’s still a few more days” left to the poll.

The poll ends Friday at midnight. To vote head to www.calmodtrains.com.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Emily Shlaes.

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