Caltrain, the provider of commuter rail service along the San Francisco Peninsula, has reported that annual ridership dropped slightly by 0.4 percent in the past year, with average weekday ridership for 2017 at 62,190 passengers. Ridership is still 82 percent higher than in 2010 and up by 159 percent compared to 2004.
The count is typically conducted in late January and February when there are fewer holidays and special events that could skew ridership numbers. This year counts were conducted in February through early April due to coordination with a new consultant and subconsultant team that will manage, conduct, and compile field surveys.
Peak season for Caltrain’s ridership is usually during the summer and may last through the fall. Results do show that riders are traveling further on Caltrain and that average weekday trip length for 2017 was 23.3 miles compared to 22.8 in 2016.
Caltrain saw an increase of 0.9 percent in traditional peak riders, with 31,948 riders in 2016 compared to 32,241 in 2017. There was a 2.1 percent decrease in midday riders, 1.9 percent decrease in reverse peak riders and 0.1 percent increase in evening riders. Baby Bullet trains saw the highest increase, with a ridership up by 16.2 percent and limited service up by 8.4 percent. Local was down by 3.8 percent and weekend ridership service decreased by 2.7 percent.
The 10 most popular train stations for Caltrain are San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose Diridon, Mountain View, Redwood City, Millbrae, Sunnyvale, Hillsdale, San Mateo and Menlo Park. There is no change in station use since 2016.