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Caltrain is committed to supporting a more sustainable San Francisco Bay Area.

Caltrain promotes sustainability by providing affordable, accessible, environmentally friendly mobility options to move people where they live, work and play. Its Sustainability Program regularly evaluates the agency’s operational impacts on communities and the environment, and finds ways to lessen those impacts. The rail agency also encourages environmental stewardship by Caltrain’s partners, customers and employees.

Sustainability Benefits of Riding Public Transit
Customers that ride Caltrain promote sustainability in many ways that benefit the community:

  • Reducing fuel consumption
  • Saving households money[1]
  • Mitigating traffic congestion
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and related climate change impacts
  • Improving regional air quality

Caltrain’s Commute Calculator helps estimate how much money customers save by taking Caltrain instead of driving. A Carbon Savings Calculator estimates how taking transit can reduce your carbon footprint.

[1]An average 20-mile trip by car can cost $10-15 (AAA 2014 “Your Driving Costs”)


Sustainability Program Framework
As the managing agency of Caltrain, the San Mateo County Transit District’s sustainability policies and practices extend to the facilities and employees that support the management of Caltrain’s service. The District’s Sustainability Policy summarizes our commitment to incorporating sustainability into standard operating procedures and long-term decision-making. Further, sustainability is a key component of Caltrain’s vision and Strategic Plan.

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 percent over the past seven years. Riding Caltrain instead of driving reduces regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • In response to California’s historic drought, Caltrain implemented a number of water-saving conservation measures, and decreased water consumption by more than a third between FY2010 and FY2016; and
  • Caltrain’s net GHG emissions declined by 22,474 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in FY2016 compared to FY2010. This reduction is the equivalent to removing 4,747 vehicles from the road.

To read the report click HERE (7.24 MB, PDF)

The District (and through it, 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.

Sustainability in Action
View examples of Caltrain’s commitment to sustainabilityView examples of Caltrain’s commitment to sustainability in operating and maintenance programs, capital projects, long-term planning and everyday business practices.

Board Presentations
Click HERE to view Sustainability Program updates to the Caltrain Board.

Top 10 in 2015
Click HERE for the Top 10 District Sustainability Program highlights from 2015.

Top 6 in 2016
Click HERE for the Top 6 District Sustainability Program highlights from 2016.

Top 7 in 2017
Click HERE for the Top 7 District Sustainability Program highlights from 2017.

6/29/18 - rr/rjc