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Caltrain looks to bolster service in Palo Alto

Original post made on Jun 8, 2012

Spurred by a swelling number of commuters, Caltrain plans to bolster its weekday service by adding six trains and having more existing trains stop in Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 8, 2012, 9:48 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Transposed?, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

Editor: Did this get transposed?

"According to Caltrain statistics, the number of riders jumped from 37,779 in February 2011 to 32,354 in February 2012, a 12.1 percent jump."

As written, that is a 12% decline, no?


Posted by Julie Jacobsen, a resident of University South
on Jun 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

"The changes were prompted by a surge or ridership at the popular train service. According to Caltrain statistics, the number of riders jumped from 37,779 in February 2011 to 32,354 in February 2012, a 12.1 percent jump." Might want to run those numbers again?


Posted by Commuter, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2012 at 10:54 am

I'm glad that poor service Cal Ave. was discussed at the Rail committee. Prior to the baby bullets Cal Ave. had a lot of activity. Once Cal Ave's service was cut to allow for more express trains, many used the downtown station, increasing ridership there at Cal Ave's expense. With all of the business and residential density near Cal Ave., it makes sense to include it as a stop for some of the baby bullets.


Posted by Jim H., a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

@ Transposed and Julie: Those numbers aren't transposed. Caltrain is just using the new High Speed Rail math to calculate ridership figures. Using the HSR method, ridership is ALWAYS increasing...


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

Good.

Now it is time to improve public transportation for the first/last mile for all our commuters, whether PA is homebase or destination.

Buses and shuttles must arrive in such time as to allow passengers to catch the train, then wait until such time as alighting train passengers have time to catch them. Without first/last mile improvements, Caltrain will not reach its full potential.


Posted by cheap, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:33 am

You folks who are confused by numbers just need to get on rush hour trains to see how much fuller they are now than a few years ago. Some are so full that they are turning away paying customers. Adding more train service is surely much cheaper than building more highways. All those $100 million patches they are putting into Hwy 101 are barely adding any capacity.

Yes, the last mile (or 2 or 3) is an important problem since big employers seem to be attracted to locations away from train stations (like the new Facebook campus). I hope the city can restore the around-town shuttle bus service that has been cut way back over the years.

More people using public transit means a lot less congestion, noise, and pollution in our neighborhoods.


Posted by The Real Ridership Data, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:56 am

See Web Link for the actual ridership data to show that the figure for 2012 is 42,354, not 32,354. There was a single digit typo, not a transposition of figures. (That's the more likely explanation using Occam's razor anyway.) Palo Alto station had a 15.7% increase over 2011.

If Caltrain adds a peak hour train in each direction, how will that affect the ability to cross Caltrain at the four grade crossings?


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2012 at 11:57 am

Clearly a typo.

February 2012 average weekday ridership was 42,354 boardings, not 32,354 as incorrectly cited in the article. Web Link

Editor: please fix!


Posted by Ashley, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

California Avenue now has 1000+ daily boarding which is much higher than San Bruno, Burlingame, Lawrenace or Santa Clara. But number of train served is less than those stations. Cal Ave need more train to be served.


Posted by Elizabeth Alexis, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm

If you want more service at Cal Ave or have other comments about the proposed schedule, TODAY is last official comment period. Email your thoughts to: changes@caltrain.com

The proposed schedule is at Web Link


Posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online
on Jun 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

Our apologies for the numerical error. It is now fixed.


Posted by YIMBY, a resident of University South
on Jun 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm

YIMBY is a registered user.

To Anonymous, who wrote: "Clearly a typo.

February 2012 average weekday ridership was 42,354 boardings, not 32,354 as incorrectly cited in the article. Web Link

Editor: please fix!"

Well, you spoke, the Weekly heard you!
That line was just changed to:
"According to Caltrain statistics, the number of riders jumped from 37,779 in February 2011 to 42,354 in February 2012, a 12.1 percent jump."


Posted by Cynthia, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm

What is the latest on adding wifi? I was so surprised and disappointed when I started commuting to SF from PA/MP on CalTrain and no internet!


Posted by services, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Caltrain is really operating a minimal cost operation. Ticket offices and restrooms at train stations have long been closed, etc. I have to imagine than new services like WiFi aren't going to happen until Caltrain gets a major upgrade, like the electrification that everyone keeps dreaming about.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Yes upgrades, we need upgrades. Restrooms, ticket offices, buses and shuttle stations, bike rentals, how about car rentals and car sharing services. We just have in some stops just giant open air waiting areas.


Posted by Toady, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Agree with all the comments about last mile - but who would supply it? VTA or maybe Caltrain? I guess we would need to survey how many more people would actually ride Caltrain if they could get to it more easily.


Posted by services, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Employers should pitch for shuttles to pick up their employees. Each shuttle can visit multiple employers who share the cost. This is much cheaper than each employer building new parking lots.

Cities should also look into providing shuttles at the residence end. Currently VTA service is really terrible in Palo Alto residential neighborhoods and the city can pick up some of that slack. Much cheaper for the city to provide around-town shuttles than to build new streets.


Posted by ODB, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2012 at 1:09 am

CalTrain should be looking into hydrogen-cell locomotives. They would be far, far cheaper than electrification.


Posted by Neil Shea, a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Wait, Palo Altans want to ride trains and benefit from train service?

I thought we had demanded that our city to everything possible to prevent additional train transportation options so that we could all enjoy driving our Personal Motor Cars for ever and ever.

Let's stop all this nonsense about more train service. Next thing you know someone's going to suggest some grade separations so cars don't have to stop at crossings, and so we can better fence off the dangerous tracks...


Posted by Toady, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Yes, trains for *local* transit. Not for some imaginary need to ride a choo-choo to LA.


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