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9/13/2018



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain reports uptick in average weekday ridership


The railroad reported a 5.1 percent increase in the average number of weekday passengers in this year's annual ridership count.
Photo – Caltrain

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Caltrain logged 65,095 average weekday passengers during its annual ridership count conducted earlier this year. The figure marked a 1.5 percent increase over last year's count, Caltrain officials said in a press release.

Traditional peak-hour ridership grew to 34,373 this year from 33,548 passengers in 2017. In addition, the railroad reported a 5.1 percent increase in reverse-peak riders, along with a 5.8 percent decrease in evening riders and a 9.2 percent dip in midday riders.

The uptick in average weekday ridership followed a slight decline in ridership in 2017.

Each year, the railroad performs a physical headcount of riders, usually around January and February when there fewer holidays and special events that could skew ridership figures, according to Caltrain. The count data is then used as the railroad's ridership baseline. 

This year, however, the weekday count methodology changed from counting riders on weekday trains on all five weekdays to counting weekday trains on just two weekdays. The change stemmed from "increasing costs and budget constraints," Caltrain officials said.

To provide an appropriate comparison to last year's count, the railroad removed Monday and Friday ridership data in the 2017 figures.

Data from the ridership count will be incorporated into Caltrain's business plan to strategize future scheduling and passenger capacity.

In the future, the railroad will be able to monitor ridership more frequently with automatic passenger counters installed on its new electric fleet.



Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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