To meet the growing ridership demand, with rush hour trains frequently standing room only, Caltrain is planning to add service sometime this fall. The proposed additions include the 4 late morning/early afternoon trains that Caltrain cut in January 2011. Also, Caltrain proposes to add 2 limited schedule trains to the afternoon peak hours schedule (4:31pm from San Jose, 6:20pm from San Francisco).
In addition, Caltrain plans to add stops to some existing peak hour trains to better utilize available capacity. Under the plan, the reverse commute Baby Bullet trains that stop in Menlo Park would also stop in Palo Alto, adding two minutes to the overall schedule. More northbound morning and southbound afternoon trains would stop in Sunnyvale. Click to see the proposed schedule.
To share your suggestions about the proposed new schedule, a community meeting will be held this Wednesday in San Carlos: Wednesday, May 30, at 6 p.m. 1250 San Carlos Ave., 2nd floor auditorium, San Carlos Funding for this service increase has already been included in the FY 2013 budget, which is set to be considered by the Joint Powers Board next month. Because of the small magnitude of this service change, a more formal "public hearing" will not be held nor the board is expected to take a separate action on this issue.The new schedule is likely to take effect sometime this fall no earlier than September. Caltrain staff is not ready to set an exact date because of the recent transition of contract operator from Amtrak to Transit America Services over the Memorial Day weekend.
Caltrain is planning to add service this year, even though its operating budget for 2014 is still up in the air. In particular, SamTrans and Muni face budget challenges. If Caltrain's 3 partner agencies, SamTrans, VTA and Muni, along with regional funder MTC, do not come up with a funding plan, Caltrain could be forced to slash service a few months later.
Caltrain should be working now to line up funding for 2014, so it does not face a roller coaster of adding and then slashing service. Currently, Caltrain is considering ballot measures for 2014 to address its operating funding needs. That funding would not be available until 2015.
If you are planning to attend the meeting, tell Caltrain that you want to see them line up funding for 2014, so they do not need to add service and then quickly cut it. If you cannot attend the meeting, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, and copy email@example.com.
Friends of Caltrain