Caltrain to vote on fees, bike space

October 2, 2008 8:53:11 AM PDT
Your ride to work on Caltrain may be about to get more expensive. On Thursday, the transit agency is expected to vote on raising fares - while also tackling a bicycle space crunch on the trains.

Caltrain says its fuel costs have nearly doubled over the last year - so it needs to make up for that, even though ridership has increased, partly because of high gas prices. The train line runs from Gilroy to San Francisco - so how much extra you pay may depend on how far you travel.

The transit agency will decide on Thursday on two different, 25-cent fare increase proposals, which will depend on trip length and type of pass. One proposal raises fares by 25-cents to Caltrain's base ticket. The other is a 25-cent base-fare increase, plus an additional quarter per zone crossed. Caltrain has held several public meetings about the fare increases, and says the community is not protesting much. Yet there are mixed feelings on the possibility of increased costs for a ticket.

"Well I think they are already kind of high, but you know, I only take a one way everyday so it's not too bad. I only go up to Mountain View and it seems a little high," said Zach Wnuk, Caltrain commuter.

"It's very worth it - it's such a relief being on the train instead of driving. I used to drive - never anymore," said Donna McIvor, Caltrain commuter.

"So 25-cents is worth it?" asked ABC7's Teresa Garcia.

"Yes absolutely," said McIvor.

Caltrain has though had more complaints from commuters trying to travel with their bikes on the train. There is limited space for bikes, and Caltrain data shows up to 50 commuters a day have been getting bumped from riding.

Bicycle commuters say the ultimate solution is for Caltrain to provide more space for bikes on the trains by either removing seats on existing cars, or by adding more train cars for bikes. Caltrain officials are trying to fix the space problem and are reviewing a new "bicycle parking and access plan". Possible solutions include providing more secure bike parking at the stations and even offering subsidies to pay for folding bikes that can be stored under seats.

Caltrain's board of directors will vote Thursday on the proposals to increase ticket prices. If approved, the new fares would take effect January 1st.


Load Comments