Here’s how to bring your bike on Caltrain

What’s the buzz about bike commuting on Caltrain these days? It’s healthy, efficient and the green thing to do. Many Bay Meadows residents bring their bikes on-board to overcome “last-mile” connections between the Caltrain station and their workplaces.

While Caltrain ridership (and bike-commuting via Caltrain) has surged during the booming economy, Caltrain recently received a $134,000 state grant for a Bike Parking Management Plan. Congratulations, Caltrain! This study will help Caltrain expand and improve the system of wayside bike parking at the agency’s 32 stations.

So, what’re you waiting for? Let’s bring our bikes on Caltrain! It can be intimidating at first, but here are some tips to get you started:

WaitingPlatform

WAITING ON THE PLATFORM:

  • Every rider w/a bike must be able to carry their own bike on board. TIP: Try holding one of the one of the lower tubes of the frame instead of the top with one hand, with your other hand on the handlebar
  • Walk your bike on the platform and be mindful of other passengers.
  • Make sure your destination tag is clearly visible, so other cyclists know where you plan to disembark.
    What’s a bike tag? A yellow tag you affixed visibly to your bike, so that once your bike is “racked” on board, other bikers can see where you/your bike are getting off.
    Where do I get one? You request one from a conductor OR you can make your own>>
  • As the train arrives, you can identify the bike car by the large yellow sign “Bike Car” posted by the door of each bike car.
  • Each train has 2 bike cars – the northernmost car and the second car from the locomotive

BikeTag

BOARDING

  • As the train stops, step aside and allow other passengers to disembark first before you board. Then lift your bike aboard the train.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on your bike, as Caltrain isn’t responsible for any theft or damage to bicycles!

BikeRack

STACKING

  • Once on-board, it’s time to rack your bike. Look for other rider bike tags headed to a similar destination.
  • Alternate your bike, so as to not stack handlebar to handlebar
  • Once racked, secure it with the provided bungie cord. Baskets, helmets & saddlebags are not allowed on racked bikes.
  • Never lock your bike to the rack.
  • Each rack is limited to 4 bikes!

Disembark

DISEMBARKING

  • Prepare to disembark before the train arrives at your destination
  • Carefully undo the bungie cord being mindful of pedals, spokes that may get entangled or damaged.
  • Don’t leave the bike car until the train has come to a stop.
  • Once the train has stopped, move to the vestibule and exit the train.

Due to the popularity of the Caltrain Bike Program, capacity may be limited during peak rush-hour commute times or special events. The conductor may decline transportation or revise the handling of bicycles due to crowded trains or unsafe conditions. TIP: If you want to know about bike car bumps, you might want to follow this twitter handle: bikecar (bikecar) on Twitter.

For more info & tips, visit http://www.caltrain.com/riderinfo/Bicycles/Bicycle_FAQs.html

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