How to Ride Caltrain

Here are some step-by-step tips on how to ride Caltrain especially if you are new here. See our image and video gallery at the bottom.

Caltrain is a commuter rail line that runs between San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, and down to Gilroy. Caltrain connects with other transit services like BART, Muni, SamTrans, and VTA, as well as connections to San Francisco International Airport and San Jose’s Mineta International Airport.


Now you can access real-time predictions of your trains for each station under the Map Tab or get to them from the Schedule Tab on top of each page by clicking on a station name in the schedule (see above). 

Example Station: San Mateo Click Here.  

TIP: Bookmark your favorite station on your device (on mobile add it to your home screen) to quickly find when the next train will be available and see alerts. 

  • Plan your transit trip with the Schedules Tab at the top right on every page, where you will find Weekday or Weekend timetables(scroll up).

  • Check our real-time Service Alerts Tab one over from the right at the top of each page for current service info (scroll up).

  • Use the Map Tab second from the left for real-time info of trains and stations and explore the station's amenities (scroll up).

  • Use the Trip Planner Tab on the top left to get directions (scroll up).

  • Riding with a bike 
    Please visit our bike page.

  • Note, all odd-numbered trains are northbound and all even-numbered trains are southbound


  • Arrive early: give yourself adequate time to park, purchase tickets, and do anything else before boarding.

  • Parking: You can pay for parking at the Caltrain station ticket machine or with the Caltrain App. Note your parking stall number to enter into app or ticket machine. Visit our parking page.

  • Make sure you are on the correct platform.

  • Riders who need assistance should look for the International symbol of access and painted blue square.

  • Always stay behind the yellow safety line.

  • If you’re bringing your bike on board look for the Bike Car. Visit our Bikes page.

  • Purchase a valid ticket BEFORE you board at the Station Ticket Machine, by using Clipper or the official Caltrain Mobile app.

    No valid ticket? You are subject to citation.

  • Fares are based on the number of zones traveled. Refer to the Schedules Tab in the top right of each page or System Map to determine the number of zones for your trip.

  • Caltrain is a Bikes Board First system, allow bike riders to board first.

  • Passengers with bikes or scooters should use the Bike Cars.

  • Strollers must be folded before boarding and stored on the racks in the Luggage Car.

  • The use of bicycles, skateboards, and scooters on platforms and ramps is prohibited.

  • No rollerblades and roller skates can be worn onboard trains or on station property.

  • Smoking is prohibited on trains and station property.

  • Store luggage in the designated areas.

  • Quiet Please: Keep cell phone use to a minimum and speak quietly. Radios and music players are allowed with earphones only.

  • Pay attention to the stops to make sure you don’t miss your station.

  • Look for the train numbers next to the locomotive or front cab car.

  • Personal items may be placed under the seat or in the overhead rack.

  • Open alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the trains beginning at 9 p.m. on special event days and nights.

  • In case of onboard emergency, the conductor will provide necessary instructions. Please follow instructions for safety reasons.

  • Keep vestibule, aisles, and stairs clear.

  • Don't put feet on the seats.

  • On crowded trains, don't block seats with personal belongings.

  • Caltrain maintains its on-time performance according to the Passenger Rail Industry Standard, which allows crews to depart up to 30 seconds ahead of or up to 5 minutes behind the printed timetable.

  • Gather your belongings.

  • If you forget something, report it to lost and found.

  • Remove all empty cups and other trash from the train.

  • Don't forget! Clipper users need to tap off.

Which trains stop where?
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Baby Bullet Express
Baby Bullet service travels between San Francisco and San Jose in about an hour, stopping at ...
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Limited-stop Service

Trains that serve fewer stations than local service.

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Local-stop Service

Trains that serve all regular service stations.