In anticipation of a large number of people returning to the office and in-person classes in September, starting Monday, August 30, Caltrain service will surpass its pre-pandemic levels, offering 104 trains per weekday, including hourly all-stop Local trains throughout the day and the return of the Baby Bullet express trains. As an additional incentive to riders, Caltrain is discounting all of its non-Go Pass fares by 50% during the month of September.
The new level of weekday service, higher than any point in Caltrain’s history, will provide increased service and frequency throughout the day and into the evening. Service during the weekday peak commuting hours (6 a.m. to 9 a.m., 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) will be increased to four trains per hour with the return of hourly Baby Bullet express trains. Limited-Stop train service during the middle of the day will provide riders with a faster alternative, while half hourly service until 11 p.m. will provide better local service into the late evenings, in keeping with the goals of the Framework for Equity, Connectivity, Recovery and Growth. Another goal of the framework captured by the new schedule is a move towards clock-face scheduling, so trains arrive at regular and predictable intervals, simplifying the riding experience.
The restoration of the third Gilroy train, which includes direct service to College Park station, will provide increased service to South Bay residents. Weekend service will now be identical, rather than separate Saturday and Sunday schedules, which adds two additional round trips in morning and late evening on Sundays.
Caltrain developed the timetable with an emphasis on improving BART connections at the Millbrae Transit Center. Under the new timetable, the majority of connections during weekdays are between eight and 15 minutes, just right for rider convenience while flexible enough to avoid missing transfers. After 8:30 p.m. and for some weekend transfers, the wait time is currently less optimal. Both systems are dealing with intensive, system-wide construction, rebuilding, and maintenance activities that limit flexibility, and are continuing to work together to optimize our connections.
As public health conditions continue to evolve and ridership continues to increase, Caltrain will make further service adjustments to meet the public’s changing transportation needs. Caltrain ridership continues to improve, regularly exceeding 12% of pre-pandemic levels on the weekdays and 40% on the weekends.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with commute service to Gilroy. 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 corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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