Almanac

News - December 12, 2007

Caltrain will add two trains each weekday evening

Starting March 3, two more trains will run between San Francisco and San Jose on weekday evenings.

The Caltrain Board of Directors voted unanimously Dec. 5 to add one northbound and one southbound train Monday through Friday evenings. This addition raises the number of trains per day from 96 to 98.

Under the new schedule, evening trains will leave San Francisco and San Jose every hour on the half hour starting at 7:30 p.m., and ending at 10:30 p.m. All evening trains will stop at all regular stations along the route — except Atherton and Broadway/Burlingame, which were dropped two years ago. For late nighters, a final southbound train will still leave San Francisco at 12:01 a.m.

"This is a great example of collaboration between communities and a public agency," said San Mateo County supervisor and Caltrain board member Jerry Hill. He and the staff have been working with an organization called Citizens for Expanded Transit Service (CETS) to improve service.

In a statement, CETS welcomed the schedule change as an "incremental positive step toward improving area-wide transit."

But the organization, which includes present and ex-council members from several Peninsula cities, still wants additional trains and renewed service for Atherton and Burlingame.

"More train stops are crucial to adding jobs and housing without worsening traffic congestion," said Menlo Park City Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson. "As of this week, we have several hundred new jobs in Menlo Park that are an easy walk from the train station. We need more stops in more cities during peak commute hours."

Even though Caltrain continues to wrestle with budget deficits, the additional service has been made possible by efficiencies in operating costs connected with the opening of a new maintenance facility in San Jose, according to a Caltrain press release.

For the new schedule, go to www.Caltrain.com.

Comments

Posted by Cal-Trains BS, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Dec 13, 2007 at 10:02 am

More BS from Cal-train.
Their trains during the day are 1/2 to 3/4's empty.
With their "MONKEYS" blowing their horns at every crossing
I can see why people are moving out.
By the way, What does "eminent domain" mean?


Posted by former commuter, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 13, 2007 at 2:22 pm

How does the new train schedule compare to the schedule of 5+ years ago? Last I checked, there were fewer trains at the commute times from Menlo Park.


Posted by Roxie, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Dec 15, 2007 at 12:53 am

Gentle Caltrain BS,

Train conductors are not monkeys blowing their horns for no reason. Because Menlo Park does not have grade separations federal law requires this at train crossings for good reason--safety. Under certain circumstances a community can create double-gated crossing systems and, if the traffic will permit, this can allow the community to petition for an exception to the federal law. Given the high volume of traffic at Menlo Park's intersections though, and the difficulty of installing the proper gate systems, I personally don't think this is a good idea. Grade separations will be safer and alleviate the whole whistle blowing problem, because there will not be any more crossings.

The railroad existed when the people complaining about caltrain bought their homes, they knew what they were getting into. Luckily for them, they can always sell out at enormous profit, given the appreciation in house values in Menlo Park, and find a quieter place to live.

I'm glad Caltrain is adding more trains. Flexible scheduling encourages new ridership. I used to ride the train when I worked in San Francisco, but was often disappointed in how long I had to wait for a Menlo Park bound train. Also, you can't tell just by looking in the window of the train that it is 3/4 empty--a lot depends on how many stops the train has already made, how many additional pickups it needs to make, etc. and a lot of people slouch down in their seats.


Posted by GC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 24, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Why are you running trains shorter than five cars during commute hours? This seem to have been an issue for quite some time, yet CalTrain has not responded to its passengers.


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