Starting Monday, April 16, Caltrain will launch a five week pilot program that is designed to make boarding go faster and more smoothly.

“Bikes Board First”, designed by Caltrain in conjunction with bicycle advocacy groups and its Bicycle Advisory Committee, has a simple goal; allow bicyclists to board bike cars first at the Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City stations. Caltrain staff will be on hand at those stations to enforce the policy, which would prevent bicyclists from having to navigate through a crowd of riders blocking the entrance. These boardings will be timed and compared to the standard boarding process to determine if this new approach could make overall Caltrain service more efficient.

Bikes Board First Pilot

Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City

Northbound Trains ONLY

Monday – Friday, 6 AM to 9 AM.

Caltrain staff has found that 66 percent of delays result from issues with passengers, with a substantial amount of which pertaining to bikes boarding. In December 2017, issues related to bike boarding resulted in 1,352 minutes of delays. If successful, this program could increase on-time performance and increase the efficiency of service throughout the system. If the results are positive, riders can expect to see this policy rolled out throughout the Caltrain line.

With around 6,000 riders with bicycles riding Caltrain every weekday, more than any other rail system in the country, it is imperative that we find the best way available to board those riders. Your flexibility is appreciated, and will help to make sure everyone can get where they’re going on time.


About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain enjoyed more than five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 65,000 average weekday riders. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the system, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.

Like us on Facebook at: and follow us on Twitter @Caltrain

Free translation assistance is available. Para traducción llama al 1.800.660.4287; 如需翻譯,請電 1.800.660.4287.


  1. This is a really great idea. Please also put larger “BIKE CAR” signs on the bike cars so these cars are easy to identify.

  2. This is a great idea, however it’s not being implemented. I board northbound at Palo Alto between 3:30-6 five days a week M-F. I have not seen a single Caltrain staff member enforcing the policy. Nor have I have I seen boarding times being recorded. The only evidence of this pilot on the ground is one double sided sign announcing it. Has implementation been delayed?

    • Hey Raymond, as stated in the blog, the program details are:

      Stations: Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City

      Platform: Northbound Trains ONLY

      Time: Monday – Friday, 6 AM to 9 AM.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s