Friday, May 08, 2009

Should Public Officials Run Public Transit?

I read this via BATN:

Published Friday, May 8, 2009, by the Daily Post (Palo Alto)

Bike ban suggested

Caltrain board member Jim Hartnett said yesterday that the agency should consider banning bikes after a bicycle advocate called on the agency to continue making more room for riders.

"I am concerned that we are never going to meet (the demand)," said Hartnett, a Redwood City council member [BATN: who will not be seeking re-election due to term-limits]. "We have to consider whether or not we should continue to provide that service."

Later in the meeting, Executive Director Michael Scanlon said that the board should consider charging a fee for bikes to board Caltrain.

On Feb. 5 Caltrain approved a plan to increase bike capacity on its trains by removing some seats on its bike cars.

First of all, after many years of bikers' complaints about bike capacity, CalTrain has only just now made a tiny allowance for more riders... so to complain that the railway may never be able to meet bikers demand for space is pretty pissy considering that is has not actually tried to meet it.

Second of all... WFT? You're complaining that people want to ride your trains? How annoying. Why limit your annoyance to bikers. Even "normal" passengers make constant demands for more trains, faster trains, and better service. They're never satisfied.

It'd be nice to be treated like a customer for once, instead of some kind of freeloader!


murphstahoe said...

rocking LTTE dude, rocking!

Susan said...

Argh, this guy is a city councilman here in RWC. He probably never rides a train in rush hour. Just throw the dozens of bikes lined up at every stop to the dogs. What a ridiculous and thoughtless suggestion.

295bus said...


It seems to be impossible to make a clickable link to a readable view of specific articles in the Daily News now (they used to have a much better site). So I'll just paste it here:

What a way to run a railroad

Dear Editor: Caltrain board member Jim Hartnett is annoyed with bicyclists, strangely, for wanting to ride Caltrain. He is concerned that we are never going to meet the demand for bike space on trains (which surprises me considering how little effort Caltrain has put into meeting that demand), and pouts We have to consider whether or not we should continue to provide that service.

Of course, its not just bikers who are pushy and demanding. Pretty much everyone who rides Caltrain wants trains to run more often, faster and more punctually. Yes, transit passengers, also known as customers, are a demanding bunch. How annoying running a railway would be so much easier without them.

Nicholar (sic!) Kibre, Redwood City