Caltrain schedule changes on the way

More bike cars, longer stops at stations to accommodate growing crowds

Caltrain will be changing its train schedule starting early next month to cope with the growing numbers of riders bogging down stops at several stations along the rail corridor.

Ridership on Caltrain increased to an average of more than 60,000 weekday riders, forcing Caltrain to operate at or beyond 100 percent capacity during peak hours, according to a Caltrain press release. The rising demand is causing trains to stop at stations for longer periods as a growing number of passengers get on board.

The weekly timetable will be adjusted by several minutes per train to better reflect actual departure times at each station, according to the press release. The new timetable will take effect starting Monday, April 4, and can be viewed online at

The increase in ridership has been particularly tough for bicyclists, who are not allowed onto crowded train cars because of lack of space. Concurrent with the timetable changes, Caltrain will be adding a third bike car to its Bombardier-style trains to increase bike capacity from 48 to 72 bikes.

In 2014, Caltrain added 16 used rail cars to the system in order to meet growing demand, and officials are currently considering requests to add an additional bullet train service.

Anyone seeking more information on the new Caltrain schedule can call 1-800-660-4287.

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111 people like this
Posted by commuter
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2016 at 10:55 am

The problem is long-term underfunding of Caltrain. They have had capacity problems for years. Many commuters have given up on them and turned to solo cars instead, causing rampant traffic and parking problems in Bay Area cities. Better funding of public transit is just common sense. When will our politicians figure this out? Fixing public transit is much cheaper than widening highways and building more parking garages.

2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 27, 2016 at 1:05 pm

"When will our politicians figure this out?"

When Proposition 13 allows them. Therefore, never.

24 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 27, 2016 at 1:24 pm

There seems to be plenty of sales tax money for highway and parking projects. Money is not the problem with public transit.

27 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm

I know we're not in Europe, but for the sake of comparison the trains pass every five minutes at peak hours in major cities. I don't even take the train, but it's painful enough to hear about the high demand and low supply of trains in our town.

9 people like this
Posted by No more Patience
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2016 at 7:33 pm

I got tired of being bumped long, long ago. Tired of the length of time to get anywhere, too. I gave up on the train!

6 people like this
Posted by blah
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm

on another note, has anyone in the Cal Ave area noticed that trains have been blaring their horns obnoxiously for at least a mile around 11pm and 4am. Super annoying. Started about 2 months ago. Wakes me up often.

1 person likes this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm

How does one operate beyond 100% capacity?

4 people like this
Posted by other blah
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm

blah, those are usually freight trains. The long horn is probably to remind the level crossing security guards to be vigilant.

Like this comment
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm

@Rich: what operating above 100% capacity means depends on how capacity is defined. It always means standing room only, but sometimes capacity is defined to include a certain number of standees, and so "above" is everything beyond that.

Also, Caltrain has an over-budget and late project which involves inventing a homegrown version of federally-mandated PTS (Positive Train Control). The installation and testing for this can involve use of test trains doing plenty of late-night horn-blowing.

1 person likes this
Posted by longwrite
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 28, 2016 at 3:56 pm

trains OVERFUNDED by 50 %to 100%
Even in a union environment, necessary on a U S train, a real train operator (not a self perpetuating pension govt system)
could operate trains every 11 minutes

better yet, "doodlebugs" e g buses on train wheels could have 90 sec intervals
I believe the old key system that crossed the bay bridge was 90 sec headway.
Eleven minutes downtown oakland to downtown s f (street level!) and therefore fore actually faster than B.A.R.F. is today == and at market affordable rates, profitable.

Uebr ,Lyft, Google buses clearly show market dynamics, free enterprise, adequate but not excessive regulation and the human nature profit motive, in which investment and hope of gain you think the govt will let you keep

mostly! drives innovation, and drives profits towards zero, and prices towards costs, as costs are driven down by efficiency and innovation

this IS silicon valley. If buses and trains were run by the techies, they would work, be more frequent, and cheaper, per demand.

once again, government is the PROBLEM sigh

3 people like this
Posted by PatrickD
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2016 at 7:56 pm

I ended up renting a bicycle locker at Cal Ave. They're somewhat difficult to get, but save you from being bumped from the train. The over crowding is incredible though; we really could use twice the number of trains during the morning and evening rush hours.

6 people like this
Posted by southbayresident
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm


Silicon Valley doesn't always have the answers like it thinks it does:

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Genady Okrain
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Apr 2, 2016 at 6:47 am

Hey all,

You can use this cool new app to be up to date with the last updates for the Caltrain schedule:
Web Link

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