Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Commuting Irregularities

Yesterday morning I pedaled as fast as I could to Sequoia Station to make my train, only to find out everything was running 20-30 mins late. Which would have been ok, because pretty soon the train previous to the one I'd intended to catch came along--but the crew told us there wasn't any more room for bikes. Assumedly this is due to the familiar fact that when transit runs late, vehicles bunch, and you get crowding. Seems like if the trains are late, they could cut us some slack to make it up.

But along came the next train (really, I don't even know what train it's supposed to be at this point), and I was not optimistic about getting on, because it was a Bombardier (the new trains, theoretically much nicer than the old, but which annoyingly aren't able to, or allowed to, take as many bikes).

It was full, but this crew was more amenable, and allowed a couple of us to stash our wheels in this space (the picture is from another, calmer, day):

Where there is actually plenty of room for a whole other stack of bikes, but where CalTrain has elected to provide neither racks nor seats, and just lets the space go to waste.

I pointed out to the conductor how conveniently everything fitted, and asked why they couldn't just put another bike rack in in the first place. His response was something to the effect of "we just run'em, dont design'em," but added "they don't even listen when we tell them which trains need extra bike cars."

Transit operators are a great source of useful information that transit providers almost never tap--I've read some pretty good critiques of vehicles by drivers over on SFMuniHistory (I wouldn't have guessed, but in retrospect it makes sense, that one of the most important features of a bus or streetcar is how fast you can open and close the doors). Not to mention (ahem!) us riders!

1 comment:

Fritz said...

I think the record I've seen on the Bombardier cars is 30 bikes. We were near capacity at 14 bikes on NB #319 this morning out of San Jose, and at Sunnyvale another dozen bikes came aboard. The conductor kind of protested that there wasn't room, but everybody ignored her.