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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain logs record ridership in latest passenger count


Caltrain's average weekday ridership hit a record 58,245 passengers, according to the commuter railroad's most recent ridership count taken in February.

The number represents a 10 percent increase from last year's ridership count, and a 71 percent jump since 2010, Caltrain officials said in a statement.

Each year, officials arrive at the figures by performing an onboard physical headcount of riders in February, chosen because the month has fewer holidays and special events that may impact ridership levels.

Caltrain officials counted every rider on every train for one week and then averaged that count over five days. They also counted riders on every train for one weekend.

Average weekday ridership was the highest in Santa Clara County at 24,839, followed by San Mateo County at 17,852 and finally San Francisco at 15,454.

Officials also kept tabs on the number of bike riders who were unable to board due to crowding. Of the 32,625 riders aiming to bring bikes onboard during this year's passenger count, 214 were denied boarding.

The average number of bike riders came in at 6,207 per weekday, which represented a 5.7 percent increase from last year, Caltrain officials said.

To address its increasing ridership base, the railroad plans to add on an additional car to all Bombardier train sets on its lines.