Transportation officials and sustainability advocates from around the Bay Area will officially launch the grand opening of San Francisco’s first free-standing, attended bicycle parking facility this Wednesday at 11:30am at Caltrain’s 4th and King St. station. Operating out of a new 1,600 sq. ft. structure, Warm Planet Bikes will provide free, secure bicycle parking to Caltrain’s booming bicycle ridership.
The grand opening will feature speeches by local politicians and the heads of the region’s largest transportation agencies, such as Caltrain Board Member and SF Treasurer José Cisneros, MTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford, and SFCTA Executive Director José Luis Moscovich.
The new bike valet station is a response from Bay Area leaders to the growing demand for sustainable transportation choices. As gasoline prices have shot up, and amid growing concerns over global warming, more and more people are combining bicycling and transit. Caltrain’s bicycle ridership has increased 2.8% over the past year, to where 1 in 15 Caltrain riders are bicycle commuters. Caltrain, known nationally as a leader in promoting multimodal bike/transit trips, reports that cyclists now constitute nearly 7% of their weekday ridership.
Funded by grants from the region’s largest transportation agencies (see breakdown next page), Warm Planet Bikes will accommodate over 130 bicycles to serve commuters travelling down or up the Peninsula. In addition, Warm Planet Bikes will offer bicycle repair services for a fee and a retail store.
Secure bicycle parking is now an integral part of the Bay Area region’s intermodal transportation network, with well-established parking facilities at BART stations (Embarcadero, Berkeley and Fruitvale). Caltrain has secure bike shelters at its Palo Alto, Mountain View and Menlo Park stations, and bike lockers are available at 27 Caltrain stations. Wednesday’s opening of Warm Planet Bikes symbolizes the growing relationship between bicycling and transit.
The Warm Planet Bikes bike valet station is the culmination of over 6 years of advocacy by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Says SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum, “This has been a commendable group effort from local and regional transportation agencies pro-actively working to deal with the Bay Area’s increasing traffic and congestion. Caltrain and the Bay Area have long been leaders in promoting sustainable transportation choices, and the opening of the new bike valet service is the latest, greatest example of ensuring that more people can combine biking and transit to get around the region in a healthy, sustainable, and convenient way.”
Warm Planet Bikes is located at 311 Townsend St. (at the 4th and Townsend Caltrain Station). They are open Monday trhough Friday from 7am to 8pm. For more information go to: www.warmplanetbikes.com
Warm Planet Bikes Grand Opening Event Details
Bike Valet Grand Opening Celebration at Caltrain’s San Francisco Station
Wednesday, January 9, 2008, 11:30am
Warm Planet Bikes, 311 Townsend St., at the 4th and Townsend Caltrain Station, San Francisco
Celebratory ribbon cutting; Speeches from regional transportation officials and local politicians; Open house of the new facility; Complimentary lunchtime snacks.
Warm Planet Bikes: Funding breakdown
Who contributed and how much (full agency names below):
Caltrain Bikestation Design and Construction
[chart]Caltrain & Bicycles: Ridership Numbers
Ridership counts are conducted on a single weekday in February. Every passenger on every train is counted. The counts have taken place in Feb. since 1994. There were no schedule or service changes in the last year, so comparing 2007 numbers to 2006 is an “apples-to-apples” comparison. This is unlike 2004 and 2005, when there were drastic changes to Caltrain service: in 2004, Baby Bullet express was introduced and in 2005, the service was “reinvented” with more express service.
The Feb., 2007, count showed 2,334 bike boardings. This is a 2.8% increase from the Feb., 2006, count of 2,271.
Feb. 2007: Top Five Stations
San Jose Diridon
(total bicycle commuters per station)
Feb. 2007: Top Five Trains
#217 (7:57 a.m. SJ – serves Gilroy)
#267 (4:39 p.m. SJ)
#158 (307 p.m. SF)
#323 (5:45 a.m. SJ)
#220, 227, 280
(total bicycle commuters per train)
Source: CaltrainBicycling in San Francisco: David Binder Research Poll, November 2007
According to a survey conducted by David Binder Research, November 27-28, 2007:
Who is riding a bicycle now?
5% say the bicycle is their primary method of traveling in San Francisco
12% say they ride a bike in San Francisco more than once a week
A total of 24% polled say they ride a bike in San Francisco at least a few times a month
Reasons to support cycling:
75% say City government should do more to encourage bicycling as a routine form of transportation in San Francisco
68% say City government should invest in forms of transportation that are more environmentally friendly than the private car, such as biking, walking and public transportation
73% say that increasing the number of bicyclists helps reduce global warming
82% say that increasing the number of bicyclists helps improve public health
62% say that increasing the number of bicyclists helps ease traffic congestion in the city
Survey conducted by David Binder Research, San Francisco, November 27–28, 2007; sample size = 400; random telephone survey, likely voters; margin of error = 4.7%