Caltrain is committed to supporting sustainability in the San Francisco Bay Area. Caltrain promotes sustainability by providing affordable, accessible, environmentally beneficial mobility options to help people get to where they live, work and play. Its Sustainability Program monitors the agency’s operational impacts on communities and the environment, and finds ways to lessen those impacts. Caltrain also encourages environmental stewardship by its employees, customers and partners.
Sustainability Benefits of Riding Public Transit
Caltrain riders promote sustainability in many ways that benefit the community. By:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts: use this Carbon Savings Calculator to estimate how transit can reduce your carbon footprint.
- Decreasing fossil fuel consumption
- Saving money: use Caltrain’s Commute Calculator to estimate how much money customers save by taking Caltrain instead of driving
- Mitigating traffic congestion
- Improving regional air quality
An average 20-mile trip by car can cost $10-15 (AAA 2014 "Your Driving Costs")
Sustainability Program Framework
Sustainability is a key component of Caltrain’s vision and Strategic Plan. The San Mateo County Transit District’s Sustainability Policy summarizes Caltrain’s commitment to integrating sustainability into standard operating procedures and long-term decision-making.
Caltrain is a strong supporter of the American Public Transportation Association’s Sustainability Program and participates in the annual Sustainability & Public Transportation Workshop as well as APTA’s Sustainability committees. In 2010, the District became a founding signatory to the APTA Sustainability Commitment. Caltrain holds the Silver Level APTA Sustainability Commitment certification.
2021 Caltrain Sustainability Report
Energy Procurement Strategy Study
Caltrain prepared an analysis of its options for procuring electricity to supply its future electrified demand.
2019 Sustainability Report
Caltrain’s second sustainability report includes data from 2017 and 2018. Key achievements during the reporting years include:
- Net GHG emissions reduced by 44%
- Facility emissions down 71%
- Reduced both its diesel consumption and Criteria Air Pollution generation by 7%, even while ridership increased
2017 Caltrain Sustainability Report
In August 2017, Caltrain published its first Sustainability Report, which summarizes key environmental sustainability achievements and trends for Caltrain operations in FY2010 through FY2016. Key achievements include:
- Ridership increased by 73% over the past 7 years
- In response to California’s historic drought, Caltrain implemented several water-saving conservation measures, and decreased water consumption by more than 33% between FY2010 and FY2016
- Caltrain’s net GHG emissions declined by 22,474 metric tons of CO2e in FY2016 compared to FY2010. This reduction is equivalent to removing 4,747 vehicles from the road
Read the report (7.24 MB, PDF)
Sustainability in Action
View examples of Caltrain’s commitment to sustainability View examples of Caltrain’s commitment to sustainability in operating and maintenance programs, capital projects, long-term planning and everyday business practices.
February 2016 - Caltrain Water Consumption and Conservation
March 2015 - Caltrain Sustainability Program