By Will Reisman, @WillReisman
With the ongoing ridership increases on Caltrain seemingly set to stay for as long as the Bay Area’s economy continues to hum, conditions on the rail agency’s platforms and stations will remain congested. Space is already at a premium, and will only get tighter as new customers start taking the train.
That’s why it’s essential for Caltrain to maintain clear and uncluttered walkways and station platforms. When crowds converge on the station, the possibility of tripping over a mislaid bicycle or illegally-parked scooter is heightened. Injuries and other accidents can occur under such settings.
To address that situation, the Caltrain Board of Directors updated its parking and storage rules for bikes and other similar vehicles. As part of an initiative adopted by the board at its January meeting, Caltrain’s dedicated Transit Police force can now tag and remove bikes, scooters, mopeds, skateboards and other devices that are blocking pedestrian walking areas and are creating potential safety hazards.
Additionally, the updated rules allow the Transit Police to tag bikes and other vehicles that appear to be left abandoned on Caltrain property. Those items are removed from the property 72 hours after they are tagged by Transit Police. They are then relocated to Caltrain’s lost and found center in San Carlos. Property owners will have 90 days to retrieve their wares once they’ve been stored in lost and found. Contact information for Caltrain’s lost and found is available here.
It’s also important to note that this won’t affect bikes parked outside of secured areas (like lockers, racks, bike stations), as long as those two-wheelers aren’t blocking walkways or equipment, such as ticket vending machines. Cyclists who choose to lock up their bikes in non-designated areas still can, but they should be aware that their bike could be removed if it’s deemed to be causing a safety, security or access issue.
It’s Caltrain’s job to make sure that passengers can travel on the system in a manner that is as safe and as comfortable as possible. Ensuring that there aren’t vehicles scattered all over the agency’s property is part of that mission.