Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is the Success of Bike on Rail Dependent on Lousy Transit Service?

How many major newspapers have a bicycle columnist? At least one. An article by the San Francisco Cycling Examiner (Ben Marks) looks at Caltrain's bicycle access and parking plan that seeks to alleviate the crushing number of passengers who bring their bikes onboard during rush hour.

A shot of the Caltrain bike car on an off-peak train circa 1997

Marks notes that while the plan's emphasis on providing more and better bike parking along with a controversial peak hour surcharge might blunt the peak hour crush a more effective mobility solution would do even better. Providing reliable connecting transit at both ends of the trip.

Which brings us to the RiverLINE. If you remember in a recent posting tension has been increasing between rush hour bicyclists and regular passengers. In response to this The Bicycle Coalition is working on a 4 year status report (sneak peak here) to look at why bicycles have integrated so well with the Rail Line. The formula seems to be easy access, favorable bike routes and skeletal or non-existent connecting bus service.