Caltrain will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed closure of Atherton's 108-year-old train station at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29. Members of the public can access the meeting online via Zoom.
The Atherton station has had steadily decreasing ridership for some years, Caltrain officials said in their statement announcing the meeting.
"Prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Atherton Caltrain Station only received limited weekend-only service every 90 minutes with an average of 114 passengers per weekend day. Weekday service to the station was cut in 2005 due to low demand," the rail service said.
Integrating the Atherton station into the rail service's electrification project would be difficult given the station's limitations only one train can board at a time. "If the station remains, an upgrade of substantial cost would be necessary to prevent disruption of the expanded service that will come with the electrification of the corridor," the statement said.
In January, the town of Atherton struck a tentative agreement with Caltrain to close the station, subject to a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
According to Town Manager George Rodericks, the MOU is currently being discussed by the City Council's ad hoc subcommittee and Caltrain over details regarding the closure of the space, including parking, station maintenance and refurbishment, security, fencing and landscaping, and other safety improvements.
Rodericks said that after closure, the train station space would become part of the town's new civic center project slated for completion in October 2021, while the train station building and parking spaces would remain.
Community members can view the July 29 meeting at zoom.us/j/97368870471 using the webinar ID 973 6887 0471. To access via telephone, dial 1-669-900-9128 and use meeting ID 9736 8870 471.
Caltrain will hold another public hearing about the Atherton train station closure at its board of directors meeting Aug. 6.
Comments may be submitted until Aug. 6 at caltrain.com/athertonclosure, by mail, email or phone.