On November 6, 2020, the Caltrain Board of Directors voted to close its Atherton station at its November meeting. The last day of service at the station will be December 13, 2020, after which the station will be closed permanently.
In November, the Town of Atherton endorsed the closure of Atherton station subject to an Agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties. The station’s closure will reduce noise and increase safety for Atherton residents. Atherton is redeveloping its Civic Center, and closing the station could potentially help integrate station property (outside of the operating right-of-way) into the Civic Center redevelopment.
Prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Atherton Caltrain Station only received limited weekend-only service every 90 minutes with an average of 114 passengers per weekend day. Weekday service to the station was cut in 2005 due to low demand.
The antiquated platform configuration of the station does not meet current standards and has limited Caltrain’s operations, as trains traveling in one direction are required to wait while the train operating in the opposing direction is boarding at the station. Removing the station will improve reliability and flexibility, improving travel time through the area by as much as three minutes, which would mean the closure would save 93 million travel hours over the next 20 years. Caltrain estimates the closure could bring over 1.3 million riders by 2040.
Caltrain will perform some construction activities at the Atherton Station after its closure. Crews will install fencing and remove the concrete center platform. These activities are expected to start shortly after the closure and be complete in Summer 2021.
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