Fare Media Sales-Based Ridership Estimates


Because Caltrain uses a proof-of-payment system and has no fare gates or Automated Passenger Counters (APCs), monthly ridership must be estimated based on sales data from the various methods passengers pay for Caltrain fares (“Fare Media”). Fare media sales-based ridership estimates are reported to the Caltrain Board of Directors each month in the Executive Director’s Monthly Report.

These estimates are distinct from the annual ridership data in the Caltrain Annual Passenger Counts and National Transit Database (NTD) ridership reports. For more information on these annual ridership reports, please visit https://www.caltrain.com/about-caltrain/statistics-reports/ridership.


Prior to April 2020: Ridership was estimated using a model that used Annual Count and Triennial Survey data to calibrate fare media sales data.

April 2020 through October 2023: Due to pandemic-induced changes in travel patterns, ridership estimates were temporarily calculated using a combination of Clipper tap data and limited conductor counts.

November 2023 and on: Caltrain implemented a fare media sales-based ridership model, with a methodology that emphasizes simplicity and automation.

Additional Notes

  • Ridership refers to the number of boardings throughout the system and does not include alightings
  • Average Weekday Ridership, or AWR, refers to boardings that occur Monday-Friday, excluding holidays
  • Ridership estimates for each month are available on the 10th of the following month
  • Ridership estimates incorporate live data feeds and may be subject to change slightly after the 10th, as new fare media sales data becomes available.
  • Ridership estimates for Origin Station, Ticket Type, Fare Type and Fare Media Channel are only available from November 2023, onward


Caltrain Ridership Dashboard

Use the dropdown in the upper lefthand corner of the dashboard to navigate to tabs with different visualizations of the monthly ridership estimates.
Ridership dashboards are not available on the mobile webpage. Please visit the desktop version of this page to view and download ridership data.