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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain posts all-time high weekday ridership


Caltrain’s average weekday ridership recently reached at an all-time high of 42,354, a 12 percent year-over-year increase. The higher average marks the second year ridership rose despite service cuts and fare increases, Caltrain officials said in a prepared statement.

Conducted in February, when ridership is relatively low, the passenger count shows many of Caltrain’s more popular trains held more riders than seats. Ridership typically is higher in August and September, agency officials said.

Ridership during peak commute hours climbed to 20,473 in February versus 18,262 in the same 2011 period. Also notable, ridership on evening trains surged 23 percent to 2,658, Caltrain officials said.

Ridership increased at 27 out of 29 stations, with only Blossom Hill and San Martin registering no gains.

San Francisco continued to be the most popular station, with 9,670 riders using the station on an average weekday. The highest increase in ridership was posted at the San Jose Diridon station at about 19 percent. Ridership at the Palo Alto station, the second-most popular station, increased 15.7 percent to 4,661.

Ridership rose on all three types of Caltrain service — express, limited and local — indicating that riders rely on a mix of train types of make effective use of the commuter railroad, agency officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/10/2012