Optimizing the Use of Both Passenger Trains and Bicycles

To: Theresa MacMillan

Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Re: Bicycles on trains

The Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) supports connection to public transit by bicycle and other non-automotive means. But we also recognize that rail systems, especially, are becoming increasingly crowded throughout the entire day.

The current policy of allowing bicycles on trains reduces the space available for other riders.   BATWG suggests a number of ways to support bicycling while freeing up space on crowded trains :

  1. Provide an adequate number of secure bicycle storage spaces at every train station. Develop special rates for storage of a second bicycle at destination stations..These policies would encourage cyclists to leave bicycles at stations rather than taking them on the trains.
  2. Assure convenient bicycle rental outlets or bike sharing facilities at every station. To do so, it is necessary to end the exclusive contract with one provider and allow other companies to provide service, subject to regulation by transit agencies and local jurisdictions.
  3. Affordable overnight rates from bicycle sharing companies would encourage transit to home trips. Transit agencies might consider subsidizing a regional bicycle sharing network to keep costs low.
  4. Allow riders who want to take bicycles on transit vehicles to do so if the bicycles are folded up and placed in bags as is commonly done in Japan and European countries.
  5.  Each transit agency should study its own situation with respect to allowing full sized bicycles on transit vehicles and should develop policies to encourage bicycle use while leaving adequate space for those who ride without bicycles.

BATWG requests that MTC and the transit agencies consider these suggestions.


Bob Feinbaum
Co-founder, BATWG

cc: BART, SFMTA, VTA, Capitol Corridor, Caltrain

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