SACRAMENTO – Rail passengers now have extra space to securely store bikes that previously spilled into aisle-ways, as Caltrans nearly doubles the bicycle capacity on Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin trains.
“There’s been a need for additional storage as more and more people ride bicycles on their commute,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “By the end of next year, more than a dozen expanded railcars will be available for train riders.”
According to a press release today, the first expanded railcar serving Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin passengers went into service today. The lower levels of 13 additional railcars will be converted to increase their bicycle-carrying capacity from three bicycles to 13 bicycles per car, as well as 330 cubic feet of additional luggage storage. This will increase the average bicycle capacity from 12 bikes per train to 22 bikes per train. Construction on the remaining cars will take approximately four weeks per car with each one going into service as it is retrofitted.
Five railcars in use in Northern and Southern California are already equipped with the new design, and future bi-level cars will also have the extra space.
The $8.3 million conversion project, which is fully funded by the Recovery Act, will also enhance Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access by moving onboard restrooms to a more convenient location near the ADA seating area. To date, Caltrans has paid about $2.3 billion of the $2.6 billion made available to California.
The San Joaquin route operates between Bakersfield, Oakland and Sacramento, and the Capitol Corridor route operates between Auburn and San Jose.