I know the cyclists was trying to make a point, but sometimes you gotta use some common sense. It also kinda gives us a bad reputation.
I saw 6 cyclists get bumped at the California St. station this afternoon. The conductor let on 2 cyclists and told the rest of the people waiting "I'm sorry". He gave no information about ticket refunds. No information about when the next train would arrive (and if they should expect to get bumped again). No information on how to avoid getting bumped in the future. I think Caltrain really needs to improve their customer service regarding this bumping issue.
Maybe long time train riders know a lot about this issue already, but many people are getting bumped for the first time and some information would help them a lot. The Caltrain web site has no practical information about bumping and the conductors are no help either. I know several people who always drive instead of taking Caltrain because of the bumping issue.
The guy should have chilled, but the conductor was a jerk on a power trip. Seriously if 5-bikes fit on a rack making the total 17 even though he was the fourth on the rack... there is no issue or disruption... he should have shut the doors and went on. The conductor was trying to make a point, and so was the cyclist.
Since he was 4th on the rack, a lawyer worth anything will get this guy clear... For all he knew, he was just being picked on.
Talk about a lack of customer service...
I hope everyone who has ever put their bike on the train shows up for the trial.
Fortunately the ACE train people are a bit more relaxed. You might have to stand with your bike but at least they let you on....for now.
Roll on the rainy season so i can get a seat again
I just wish all the damn people who take their bike on the train for like a 5 mile train ride would not use the train.
Ride your damn bike! If I lived that close to work, I would.
5 miles with a bike does not need to be a multi-modal trip.... sheesh.
Makes me happy to live in hillbilly country. Shesh, the sheriff who arrested him and kept telling him "quit resisting, quit resisting" was a total prick. Since when is being calm spoken, reasonable grounds for arrest? I think if Americans turned more into Lemmings than we currently are those in power still wouldn't be happy.
I hop this guy is cleared and given a public apology.... very public.
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Sorry, caltrain just sucks. They threatened to arrest me once, too, because they said I grabbed the handle as the train went by (I didn't) and I had already been at the effing station for like 3 hours for various reasons.
The schedule in terms of what stations they stop at are completely erratic, so unless you memorize it or print it out, you don't know when a train's stopping where. As inconvenient as it is to say "well, missed the train, I'll wait another hour", that's not even an option on weekdays. It's more like, missed the train, time to wait 3 hours (or hike a few miles to the next station).
Yeah unfortunately it all depends on your situation.
For me Caltrain works great. In the AM I get on 99% of the time and have 5 options (3 main ones, and 2 for when I'm running late) at 7:40, 7:46, 8:01, 8:40 and 8:46. The 40's are bullets. I usually catch the 7:46 or 8:01 which are "limited express" and take an additional 7-8 minutes to get to SJ from Hillsdale. I like them since, you are basically guaranteed to get on, unlike the bullets. For the cost of less than 10 mins... no big deal.
In the PM, I get on at San Jose, so there is obviously no problem getting on. I get on at either 4:45, 5:05, 5:31, 5:45 or 6:05 depending on when I got to work in the AM, or how busy I was. All those listed stop at Hillsdale.
So Caltrain works great for me. However, it seems there are basically 2 groups that get screwed:
1) You live/work near a lower volume station, and get serviced less frequently.
2) You live/work at Palo Alto or Mtn. View, and ride a bike. In this case it's a battle to get on the train.
1. That completely sucks for the guy.
2. The bombardier cars are a nightmare for bikes on board. Caltrain need to admit they f'd up on them and rip out the rest of the seats on the bottom level of the bom bike cars , so they get up to parity with the gallery cars' capacity.
3. All summer the conductors have been getting surlier and the bikers more frustrated..it's escalated to the point where I've seen the engineer storm out of the cab car to yell at a cyclist, and now somebody got arrested through no real fault of his own. (Other than trying to argue with the cops, which never works -- it's not the time, guy, just take the ticket and tell it to the judge) Could fights in the queues be far off? How about some hothead assaults a conductor -- which is a Federal crime BTW -- and they use it as pretext to just stop bike service entirely? It's not unthinkable.
I have a Go pass from my employer and ride tamien or diridon to cal ave. I used to be in the bike car five times a week but except for rare one-offs., nowadays I either bike the whole way, carpool, or take the train as a ped. Someone else can have my slot. It's just not worth the stress.
Well, at least the cops didn't run him over.
Already a major improvement in police community relations.
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I don't think the caltrain operator made the call to have the rider arrested. At 4:57 the officer asks the operator if he wants the rider arrested and the operator responds with "No." It wasn't until the rider attempts to get his bike (after another officer asks "Do you want to get your bike") then the officer escalates the situation that results in his arrest.
Maybe we should just get rid of Caltrains and direct funds to the BART extension to San Jose?
It'd be much cheaper to just add more bike capacity to caltrain. And the caltrain stations are already located in just about the most convenient place for most of the cities on the peninsula, so adding bart going through a different part of each of those towns wouldn't add too much convenience.
With the leftover money from not building that BART extension, the East Bay tracks could be double tracked through the Drawbridge marsh and Santa Clara, increasing speed, frequency, and reliability for ACE and Capitol Corridor - which ALREADY service the corridor that the BART extension would serve. Note there is a connection at Oakland Coleseum for points North on the BART line. Then with the leftover money from that, we can run rail over the Dumbarton (already "planned") from Union City, connecting BART to the mid-peninsula.
And we would STILL have money left over to subsidize operating costs.
There is a rumor that one of the bikes the conductor counted was a *folder*...
They should seize Caltrain's track under eminent domain, then turn it over to BART, connect it with BART line in Milbrae, electrify it and extend it to San Jose through the Peninsula.
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My firm is doing various studies for the BART extension from Fremont to SJ.
The cost is around $100 million per MILE for underground and $12 million per mile for at grade.
Not only that...
If the CA High Speed Rail gets approved, it would be able to integrate with Caltrain, much like the trains in Europe
That's the ironic response. The literal response is that BART runs on a lovely unique gauge of rail such that the entire Caltrain right of way would need to be re-railed. Note this is why when Caltrain has a real shortage of cars, they can beg borrow or steal them from other railroads - including running trainsets that don't match any of their other trainsets (this plan isn't working now because Rail is exploding everywhere), but when BART has cars break down, they have to run shorter trains because they run specific proprietary cars.
Another literal response - this would mean that instead of a 13 minute ride from 22nd St to Millbrae on Caltrain, I would be getting on at 16th/Mission on BART, taking the scenic route through Daly City for a 28 minute ride - more than double the time.
Regarding bumping: You can get SMS messages on your cellphone from other CalTrain bikers regarding the bike-car capacity of individual trains if you go to www.twitter.com/bikecar (see also http://cow.org/c/about). I recently learned about this and signed up and it's been helpful. It could use more people posting information because the late-morning/evening trains i ride aren't always reported about, so i encourage you to sign up for your updates and start posting.
Apparently CalTrain assembles each train set (consist) the night before each day, so the bike capacity can change for each train number on a daily basis. it would be nice if they would email or post the configuration of each train once they were assembled.
The cops where fine. I think they would have let him go. The sheriff will always harass the citizens.
Getting arrested was a possibility and he took the chance. I wouldn't have even looked at the officers much less TALKED to them. Let them figure it out for themselves.