Caltrain announced the results of its Triennial Customer Survey Thursday during its monthly Board of Directors meeting.
The survey showed that 62 percent of riders cited avoiding traffic as their reason for riding, marking a five percent increase since 2013. About 34 percent of riders have been riding Caltrain for less than one year, and of those riders, 31 percent cited a change in employer, 29 percent cited traffic and 21 percent cited lack of a car as their reason for riding Caltrain.
Riders are increasingly satisfied with Caltrain, with the average rider rating it 4.09 out of 5, compared to 4.04 in 2013. In addition, riders rated the effectiveness of station signs as 3.9 compared to 3.81 in 2013.
Clipper use is up, with 16 percent of riders using Clipper cash value compared to 11 percent three years ago, as is the use of Go passes, which increased from 14 percent to 21 percent. However, Clipper Caltrain Monthly Pass use is down to 36 percent from 41 percent in 2013.
Approximately 60 percent of riders were born in the United States, 96 percent have a high school diploma, 81 percent graduated college and 38 percent have a post-graduate degree.
The survey was conducted by Corey, Canapary & Galanis by having survey takers ride a randomly pre-selected train car and attempt to interview everyone on board. Caltrain uses this data to develop its service and better target promotion strategies.
Caltrain received 5,554 responses over a three-week period last October, with a margin of error of +/- 1.3 percent, representing a 74 percent response rate.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain enjoyed five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the system, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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