A few highlights:
* Caltrain has a $2.3 million deficit. Its governing board is considering service cuts and fare hikes.
* BIKES ONboard, a group of bicycle advocates sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, says the commuter rail line could avoid those cuts if it would just accommodate the increasing demand for bike space. They say that cyclists are the fastest-growing segment of Caltrain users, and that the agency is losing over $1 million in annual fare box revenue by bumping bicyclists (that is, refusing to let them on the train). They claim to have received reports of 178 bumps from their members this July.
* Their suggestion: Pull out enough seats to accommodate 80 bike spaces per train. A Gallery bike car can currently accommodate 40 bikes, while the Bombardier bike cars can handle up to 24. Some trains have two bike cars, so bike capacity varies from 40 to 80 bikes per train. Caltrain began increasing bike capacity last year; this would increase capacity even more.
* Caltrain is not enthused. “At first glance the report appears to be based on a number of inaccurate assumptions. Since this is the first time we have seen the report, we will need several days to review it before we can provide a response,” says Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn. Dunn says that the agency is conducting a bicycle count study of its own, thank you very much.