Bike storage site at Caltrain’s Fourth and King station set for major upgrades 

click to enlarge The bike-stashing facility at Caltrain’s Fourth and King station will increase its daily capacity from 100 to 180 bikes. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
  • The bike-stashing facility at Caltrain’s Fourth and King station will increase its daily capacity from 100 to 180 bikes.

The overextended bike parking facility at Caltrain’s Fourth and King station is poised to receive an array of improvements, including new security features and expansion work that will nearly double the capacity at the site.
The storage facility at the Caltrain station, which offers valet parking services, is outfitted to hold 100 bikes. But the popular center regularly exceeds that number on busy weekdays.

To help address the capacity issues at the site, Caltrain has recommended an expansion project worth more than $500,000 to improve the facility and put its operators on solid financial footing.

As part of the work, Caltrain will install new security systems, add automated parking features and rearrange the layout of the storage site to allow for more bike racks.

If the changes are approved, Caltrain will be able to expand its daily capacity at the site from 100 to 185 bikes, according to agency spokeswoman Christine Dunne. Caltrain’s trains can store anywhere from 48 to 80 bikes for each one-way trip.

Today, Caltrain’s board of directors is scheduled to vote on the storage facility plan and select a new vendor for the operation. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority, a local transit financing agency, will chip in $130,000 to pay for the tenant improvements at the site.

Caltrain will pay up to $135,000 in transition costs over the next 18 months, and an additional $245,000 over the next three years to subsidize the facility’s operations.

Caltrain has recommended that Alameda Bicycle run the facility, a change from its current purveyor, Warm Planet, which has operated the site for the last several years, mainly with funds from an adjoining retail operation.
In 2011, Warm Planet requested a subsidy from Caltrain to help operate the bike storage unit, a proposal that was initially rejected by the transit agency. Eventually, the two sides agreed to a deal where Caltrain would pay at least $5,000 a month to help pay for the site.

Dunne said that Alameda Bicycle was chosen by a selection committee after a competitive bidding process.

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Will Reisman

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