Caltrain’s Business Plan suggests ridership demand will increase by nearly 300 per cent

Posted: 9 October 2018 | | No comments yet

The Business Plan’s strategy will define the long-term vision for the fast-growing commuter rail system that connects San Francisco and Silicon Valley.


As the Caltrain Business Plan continues developing, projections of future demand estimate that by 2040, 250,000 customers would want to ride the train if services were frequent.

This is nearly a 300 per cent increase over the number of passengers currently carried.

An update on the development of the Business Plan provided to the Caltrain Board of Directors shows that a significantly increased service could capture a ridership demand that increases from 65,000 daily riders in 2018, to 243,000 daily riders in 2040.

The projections were part of an unconstrained assessment of the market for rail service along the Caltrain corridor. The Business Plan will now analyse the choices that the railroad will face as it considers growing the service to meet the expanded demand.   

The plan will be completed with input from communities along the corridor through monthly and public meetings, and is anticipated to be a year-long process.

Alongside this, electrification of the Caltrain system is currently underway, which creates the potential for increased service levels and enhanced frequency. When the plan is complete in 2019, it will detail how the system will grow, taking advantage of the potential that an electrified system provides. 

Over the last 10 years, Caltrain has seen unprecedented ridership growth at an average of six per cent per year and is taking steps to increase capacity to accommodate current and future demand.

The Board reviewed plans to invest recently approved state gas tax revenues in the purchase of 37 new electric train cars. Electric trains, already in production, are set to replace 75 per cent of the system’s current diesel fleet. The 37 additional cars will allow the system to replace more diesel trains and extend the electric trains from six to seven cars.

Electric trains are planned to begin operation in 2022. 

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