Caltrain has an open fare payment system. Caltrain operates on a Proof of Payment System, does not have fare gates, has multiple points of access to the station platforms and does not have Automated Passenger Counters (APCs) on its trains, Therefore Caltrain uses 3 different methods for reporting ridership:

1) Fare Media Sales Based Ridership

Monthly Total Ridership and Average Weekday Ridership (AWR) based on Fare Media Sales using a ridership model, along with other Caltrain performance statistics measures, is included in each Caltrain Board of Directors monthly agenda packet. In each agenda packet, refer to the Caltrain Performance Statistics Staff Report.

2) National Transit Database (NTD) Ridership

Caltrain provides Monthly and Fiscal Year (FY) end ridership to the NTD. Monthly ridership and FY end reported to the NTD is reported as Unlinked Passenger Trips (UPTs). Federally mandated on-board passenger counts are conducted to fulfill NTD requirements which require a random selection of statistically-valid rideschecks to represent the transit agency’s sample group. Caltrain Fiscal Year (FY) end ridership is statistically-valid as the quarterly sampling plan utilizes the NTD Sampling Template. The NTD profile for the Peninsula Corridor Joint Power Board (PCJPB), the governing body for the Caltrain, can be found on the NTD webpage.

3) Annual Count Ridership

Caltrain does an extensive onboard ridership count once a year in the January/February timeframe. The annual passenger counts are an actual census of passengers and are used to validate the monthly ridership estimation derived from fare media sales. The reports below contain key findings, including average number of weekday boardings at each station, bicycle ridership and station rankings.

The Caltrain 2020 Annual Count has been postponed due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.