Because Caltrain uses a proof-of-payment system and has no fare gates or Automated Passenger Counters (APCs), Caltrain relies on 3 methods of ridership reporting: 

1.  Fare Media Sales-Based Ridership

Monthly Total Ridership and Average Weekday Ridership (AWR) are estimated based on sales data from the various methods passengers pay for Caltrain fares (“Fare Media”). For more information and to view monthly ridership estimates, please visit https://www.caltrain.com/about-caltrain/statistics-reports/ridership/fare-media-based

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 ride checks 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

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Caltrain performed an extensive onboard ridership count once a year in the January/February timeframe. The annual passenger counts were an actual census of passengers and were used to validate the monthly ridership estimation derived from fare media sales.

To download Annual Count Ridership data, please visit https://www.caltrain.com/about-caltrain/statistics-reports/ridership/annual-count