Today at MercuryNews.com, there was an article by Shaun Bishop describing the difficulties faced by Bay area commuters who try to combine cycling with riding on "Cal Trains."
"Incentives are also driving more commuters out of their cars and into the trains, causing a logjam inside to rival the gridlock on nearby Highway 101... And when push comes to shove, it's the bicyclists who get left behind - or, in Caltrain parlance, 'bumped.'"
When the trains are full, the number of bicycles allowed on each train is reduced. Caltrain is starting to consider building bicycle lockers or starting a bicycle sharing program, but the commuting population is demanding a simpler answer - more trains! However, tight budgets and governmental bureaucracy are likely to make any of these options difficult to implement.
It is a difficult situation. On one hand, increased train ridership is a very, very good thing. On the other hand, anything that discourages dual-mode commuting with bicycles and public transportation should be viewed as a significant problem. Perhaps this scenario gives us a glimpse at some of the difficulties our society will face as personal automobile use decreases over the next decades.