The staff report at the Caltrain Joint Powers Board meeting today had an interesting nugget.
Ridership on the train by cyclists bringing their bike on board increased by 1100 riders per day from February 2010 to February 2011, to a record level. An over 33% increase systemwide.
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd looked at the graphs and charts, and spoke up. "I am going to be a bit parochial here, but I see that the numbers are even higher for San Francisco". COO Chuck Harvey responded by saying that "4th and King is a very popular stop for cyclists, both arriving in the city and people in the city headed to the South Bay". Elsbernd asked about the "bike lockers" at 4th, Harvey responded that the Warm Planet bike shop was "flat out full - every day".
What's changed? Why the big increase?
I posit two things.
1) Increased bike capacity, thanks in no small part to the San Francisco Bike Coalition
2) New BIKE LANES on Townsend Street, making getting to the station much more pleasant.
Build it - and they will come.
Harvey was very energetically describing the additional on board capacity coming online this summer - 2 bike cars on every gallery set, money is in place and the plan is ready. The bike capacity portion of the presentation was more than mere afterthought - the staff is trying everything it can to show that ridership is strong and on the increase, and the cyclist program continues to be a huge - and growing - success.