Tell Us Your Caltrain Needs: Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey last year on how you connect bikes and Caltrain to get around.

Because of efforts from our members and other tireless advocates, Caltrain voted to improve accessibility and bike space for passengers bringing their bikes on board. Caltrain’s Board also committed to securing $3 million in funding for improved bike parking at stations. These changes are on the way, but it remains important that we represent the interests of our members who rely on being able to bike to and from Caltrain.

Working alongside our friends at the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, we asked for your feedback on how you combine bike trips with Caltrain. With over 300 survey participants, we learned that:

  • 50 percent of participants have been riding Caltrain for over five years;
  • A majority of riders surveyed use Caltrain to get to/from work;
  • A majority of riders surveyed need their bike to get from Caltrain to their final destination; and
  • 45 percent of riders surveyed would drive their car alone if they could not use their bikes.

Riders relying on Caltrain for their daily commutes often depend heavily on their bikes to finish their trip due to lack of good options otherwise. They need their bikes on both ends, and current alternatives are not as effective or available.


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While most riders are able to board with their bikes, 57 percent of riders reported there being at least one incident last year where they were unable to board with their bikes because the car was at capacity. Caltrain plans to increase bike capacity in the future, but many passengers are still getting bumped today. So we asked our riders what else would help with their commute. Participants responded, in order of most interest expressed:

  1. Bike space in every Caltrain car;
  2. Better ways of storing bikes onboard;
  3. Priority boarding for riders with bikes; and
  4. Improved training for bike car conductors.

Leaving their bikes at Caltrain stations is another option for some commuters. We also asked riders what improvements at stations would they consider using most. They responded:

  1. Staffed or valet bike parking stations (which were the most popular station improvements);
  2. Free bike lockers or BikeLink eLockers;
  3. Monitored bike cages;
  4. Bike share;
  5. Bike rooms; and
  6. Bike corrals (receiving an overwhelmingly negative response).

Your SF Bicycle Coalition staff are committed to continuing to advocate for a better, bike-friendly Caltrain. We’re excited for the improvements to come, and your input will help shape the details of our advocacy. If you’re looking to get more involved, join our Caltrain campaign today!


Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.