News

Caltrain fare hikes, service changes on tap

 

Caltrain officials are reminding the public that fare increases and service changes are set to go into effect in the new year.

Starting Jan. 1, it will cost an additional 25 cents per zone to ride Caltrain, and a one-way ticket from San Francisco to San Jose will increase from $7.75 to $8.50.

The fare increase is projected to raise an additional $1.4 million this fiscal year for the commuter rail system, which transports an estimated 38,000 passengers up and down the Peninsula every weekday, spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.

Caltrain will eliminate two northbound trains and two southbound trains from its midday schedule, bringing in a projected savings of $160,000, Dunn said.

The price for annual commuter tickets, known as the Go Pass, which are bought by employers for full-time employees and allow the rider to travel through unlimited Caltrain zones seven days a week, will increase from $140 to $155.

The increase is expected to generate around $150,000, which would pay for the cost of operating the program, she said.

All fare increases about to take effect were approved by the Caltrain Board of Directors in October and are intended to close a projected $2.3 million budget gap for fiscal year 2010-2011.

Also beginning in January, Caltrain will be running a three-month pilot program of weekend "baby bullet" express trains, which will make seven stops between San Jose and San Francisco.

Weekend trains currently make more than 20 stops.

Responding to rider requests for faster weekend trains and hoping to attract more riders and raise revenues, the pilot program will test the financial viability of establishing permanent baby bullet service on the weekends.

The pilot program will cost an estimated $107,000, which Caltrain can pay for from savings on projected fuel costs, Dunn said.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by commuter
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 28, 2010 at 9:56 am

Highways get a guaranteed share of our property tax and income tax. Why is public transportation always short changed?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:03 am

Public Transportation benefits every single one of us. There should be a 25c per gallon tax on gas to support public transit and one Transit Guru for the Bay Area.

This service cut and fare increase is ludicrous. Instead try increasing services and reducing fares, making the service more user friendly and start advertising.


Like this comment
Posted by Caltrain is dying
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:16 am

Caltrain thanks their loyal customers by raising fares and reducing service. Eventually people will just take their cars. Caltrain is already overpriced, filthy, and inconvenient.


Like this comment
Posted by Sad Commuter
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:56 am

It's sad isn't it. All those glossy Hybrid vehicles at the railroad crossing stopped for the black smoke spewing caltrain. what is wrong with that picture? Why can we not charge a congestion fee a la London, UK for cities like San Jose or SF and put that money towards Caltrain, Muni and VTA? Every year we are greeted with a fare hike. Merry Christmas my foot :-)


Like this comment
Posted by Caltrain Changes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2010 at 11:02 am

Caltrain eliminated two limited stop trains in each direction. These are northbound trains 237 and 257 that stop in Palo Alto around 10:11am and 3:11pm, and the two southbound trains 236 and 256 that stop in Palo Alto around 10:25am and 3:25pm. These trains skip the stations between San Bruno and the San Francisco terminus at 4th and King Sts.

For those visiting downtown SF (Market St area), it may be faster to take Caltrain to Millbrae and transfer to BART, rather than taking Caltrain to the terminus and transferring to SF MUNI.

The existing trains on the weekend are unchanged, but there are two additional limited stop trains in each direction. The northbound runs stop in Palo Alto at 10:58am and 5:58pm, and the southbound runs stop in Palo Alto at 12:39pm and 7:39pm. These limited stop runs between Palo Alto and San Francisco will take about 40 minutes rather than just over an hour.


Like this comment
Posted by Casper48
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

It's nice to see the addition of the bullets on weekends but the timing is off. One of the reasons the Giants chose the location for their ballpark was the accessibility to the train -- to encourage public transportation. Why not start the bullet train pilot program in March? The proposed Caltrain timeline is too early to get a decent read on ridership.


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of University South
on Dec 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm

YIMBY is a registered user.

Thanks, Caltrain Chainges, for posting:
"The existing trains on the weekend are unchanged, but there are two additional limited stop trains in each direction. The northbound runs stop in Palo Alto at 10:58am and 5:58pm, and the southbound runs stop in Palo Alto at 12:39pm and 7:39pm. These limited stop runs between Palo Alto and San Francisco will take about 40 minutes rather than just over an hour."

The new schedules are on the train as of today, Tuesday - finally! The weekend 'bullets'(why not be flamboyant?).

Going to the City on Sat?
Be at the train station @10:58am; stop at RWC, Hillsdale, SM, MLB, and SF AT 11:39AM!!!!!!


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of University South
on Dec 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm

YIMBY is a registered user.

OH, One more thing - the weekend 'bullets' are only on Sat - or better to call it a Sat bullet! Whishhhhhhh......


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of University South
on Dec 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm

YIMBY is a registered user.

MY BAD - they are Sat AND Sun!!!!
therefore, with Sat being a holiday and thus on the Sunday schedule - the bullets will be running! And I just called Caltrain to confirm!


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 29, 2010 at 2:45 am

Wow, wish I could get a one-year GO Pass for $155, even though I'd only use it about once a month. A regular commuter is boarding for less than 40 cents a ride. (The annual VTA Eco Pass at ~$36 is also a great deal.)

Overall Caltrain has a $30M shortfall on their $97M budget? I can't get the math to work out on cutting 2 of 45 weekday round-trips saving only $160,000. That's like a 4% service cut to trim their shortfall by 0.5%. They must be factoring in something else.

Off-topic: Caltrain is "overpriced, filthy, and inconvenient" compared to what? It's certainly my prefered ride to SF, particularly at rush hour. For drivers, we do have a "congestion fee", only it's in minutes rather than dollars. This makes it progressive, as the cost is higher to people who think their time is more valuable than others. And where do "highways get a share of our property tax and income tax"? Our 64 cent/gal tax paid at the pump, plus truck weight fees et cetera, covers everything spent on roads and is often raided for general fund items.

Happy New Year -- Caltrain promises specials returning from SF at 12:45, 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15am Jan 1. I'll be on one of them. Look for my party hat!


Like this comment
Posted by Caltrain is dying
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

Off topic:
Answer: Compared to my car


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

After all is said, done and computed, you are paying at least $.50 for every mile you drive your car. And in many places such as SF you are going to pay a parking fee when you arrive. So in all likelihood the new CalTrain rates are still a bargain for you. There is no logic supporting any new fees or taxes to subsidize this further than it is.

Every service or benefit being construed as 'essential' is how our cities, counties and state got into the current financial deficit we are experiencing.


Like this comment
Posted by who cares
a resident of Triple El
on Dec 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The caltrain choo choo trains were partly funded by city an county tax funds and the city and counties made the correct decision in abandoning funding for this albatross. To those who claim more taxes are needed on autos, well, gas taxes that were used to fund roads now go to run empty buses on surface streets, auto tire taxes that were collected to maintain roadways are now used to fund the budgets of government salaries, auto registration taxes collected to fund auto needs are now divided up to support whatever government agency needs other than motorists needs...and so on and so on. Haven't noticed any increase in traffic since CalTrain cutback service 6 monthes ago.


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

"Haven't noticed any increase in traffic since CalTrain cutback service 6 monthes ago. "

You haven't?!? I feel traffic is up considerably, tho I doubt reduced CalTrain schedules have made any noticeable difference.

Used CalTrain several times over the summer, first time in ages, and thought the world of it. If/when it's destinations work for me, I wouldn't hesitate.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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