A New Caltrain Pilot to Put Bikes First

Starting this week, Caltrain is piloting a five-week program to allow people with bikes to board the bike car first.

This “Bikes Board First” pilot program will be tested at Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City stations on weekdays during morning commute times. While this is a targeted program, we are glad to see Caltrain pilot different ideas and hope that its success will lead to expanding the pilot program, especially for San Francisco stations during morning and evening commute times.

“The Bikes Board First pilot is a great opportunity to try something new that I believe could be a benefit to all Caltrain riders,” said SF Bicycle Coalition member Danielle Thoe, who also serves on Caltrain’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. “I’m grateful to Caltrain staff for organizing this pilot and look forward to understanding the impacts on service. Ultimately, I hope that Bikes Board First helps to increase boarding efficiency and decrease dwell times.”

The idea behind this pilot has been brewing for awhile. We’ve heard complaints about the crunch that occurs during boarding, as people with bikes have to wait for all other passengers to board before they can enter the bike car. Given that 66 percent of delays result from issues with passengers, this pilot is a step in the right direction to improve bike access on Caltrain.

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