Caltrain Fare Study

Caltrain Fare Study Overview

In 2017, Caltrain commenced a comprehensive Fare Study to provide updated data and analysis to inform and support the development of fare policy at Caltrain. The agency last completed a comprehensive Fare Study in 2001, and much has changed since then for Caltrain and the region.

The primary objectives of the study are to:

  • Identify potential opportunities to maximize revenue;
  • Enhance ridership, and
  • Safeguard social and geographic equity.


The Fare Study has been conducted in phases. The first phase of work was conducted between spring of 2017 and fall of 2018 and was focused on a technical study to provide data and analysis to understand how fare changes could impact Caltrain’s ridership, revenue, and administration. The most significant effort of this first phase of work involved conducting elasticity modeling to determine the relationship between pricing and ridership.

In fall 2018, the second phase of work commenced and focused on the development of a formal Caltrain Fare Policy. Adopted by the Caltrain Board of Directors on December 6, 2018, the Caltrain Fare Policy provides a formal framework of high-level goals to underlie and guide fare-related decisions for the Caltrain system.

It is anticipated that future phases of work may be completed as well. This could include further study of the Go Pass, Caltrain's deep discount pass program, and pricing of vehicle parking at Caltrain stations. Other future work may consider potential broader changes to the agency’s fare structure and products, as well as involve further public and stakeholder outreach. 

Public Meetings and Presentations

To ensure that interested stakeholders and members of the public have opportunities to be involved and provide input on the Fare Study, Caltrain staff are working with the Caltrain Board of Directors and the Caltrain Citizens Advisory Committee. 

Past Presentations - Phase 2

Past Presentations - Phase 1

Upcoming Presentations

Future meetings and presentations will be posted here as they are scheduled. 

Fare Study Documents  

Fare Study Phase 2 Documents  

Phase 2 focused on development of the Caltrain Fare Policy for Board adoption. The adopted copy of the policy is available by clicking the linking the link below. 

Caltrain Fare Policy - Adopted 12-6-18

Fare Study Phase 1 Documents  

The Final Report from Phase 1 of the Fare Study is available at the link below. Also available is the Public Review Draft of the Phase 1 Report, which was prepared and available for public review from the beginning of August through the end of October 2018.  

Final Phase 1 Report 

Draft Phase 1 Report

Rider Survey

As part of the Fare Study, Caltrain conducted a survey of its riders in September 2017. The survey is now closed, and Caltrain would like to thank its passengers who participated in the survey on board the trains or online.