Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bikes on board Amtrak's Capitol Corridor

Image of bike on Amtrak's Capitol Corridor trainI'm a big enthusiast of Amtrak's Capitol Corridor line, which provides service between Sacramento and San Jose, with BART connections in Richmond and Oakland, and motorcoach connections to San Francisco, Reno, Chico, Napa, and other destinations. I use the Capitol Corridor daily, bicycling less than a mile to the station in Sacramento, riding 16 miles to my job in Davis, and bicycling 1.5 miles to my office. (I bicycle home most days, about 17 miles, on the bike pictured here.)

The Capitol Corridor is a great service for multimodal bike commuters. From its website: "Bicycles are welcome aboard Capitol Corridor trains. You can find bicycle racks on the lower level of most coach cars. If all racks are full, notify the conductor. The conductor will identify a place for you to safely secure your bike. Please carry a bungee cord with you, to use in securing your bike."

The Capitol Corridor now has more than 1.2 million boardings a year, and is now the third busiest passenger rail services in the U.S. As gas prices continue to rise, the train service will only attract even more riders. The biggest challenge is California's eco-fraud Governator, who continues to divert and delay much needed transit investment.

One improvement I'd like to see on the Capitol Corridor is the development of BikeStation style bike parking facilities, especially in Sacramento, San Jose, and Oakland. The line also serves the bicycling-friendly university towns of Davis and Berkeley. All have significant bicycling populations.

Image: Paul Dorn.
Visit: Amtrak Capitol Corridor
Visit: Amtrak Capitol Corridor Celebrates 15 Years
Visit: Train Rider's Association of California (TRAC)
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site

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