While riding the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train again today I found a card advertising a survey (pictured at right). I’ve been riding the Capitol Corridor trains for years, and I had some time to kill on my one hour 50 minute trip, so I figured “why not.” I was a bit surprised, however, when I found out that the grand prize in a drawing of those that take the survey is a Brompton M3L folding bike. Seemed a little bit of an odd give-a-way item, and raised my interest even further.
Once I started taking the survey I found out why that bike was associated with this survey. Seems Amtrak is considering running a rental-bike program.
Capitol Corridor is considering offering an easy to use folding bike rental system like the one pictured below called Brompton Dock which is popular with commuters in the UK.
The Brompton Dock system provides a high quality three-speed, internal hub folding bike that can be easily rented from the fully automated electronic dock it is stored in. It can be used to ride the “last mile” from the train station to your destination or for longer term – weekly or monthly rentals as well. The folding bike can be taken on the train or other transit without the need for bike space and can be easily stored in the office or at home. In order to rent a bike, you would register online with Brompton Dock and set up an account. You can then send a text message to rent or return a bike. Capitol Corridor plans to offer this service at a low cost between $1.75 and $2.50/day depending on how often you rent.
— From Capitol Corridor Survey Question at http://capitolcorridor.org/survey
I can’t help but suspect this has something to do with recent policy changes regarding bicycles on the Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains. I’m excited to hear that Amtrak is giving this enough thought to even run the survey. I for one hope that this happens. If you ride these trains, and especially if you use a bike on the train, or would consider using a bike with the train, go take the survey yourself.
Interesting side note – the survey is actually hosted at BARTs (Bay Area Rapid Transit) web address – http://www.research.bart.gov. Is BART looking into this program too?