Caltrain Ridership Numbers Rise Again
Once again, Caltrain ridership is growing:
Caltrain ridership is continuing to climb, after the agency reported record-breaking ridership numbers throughout last year, Caltrain officials said Thursday.
Average weekday ridership in November 2012 was 47,326, which is an increase of 5,061 or 12 percent higher than the previous year.
On-time performance also improved, from 83 percent in October to 91 percent in November, according to Caltrain officials.
The increase in ridership brought a corresponding increase in farebox revenue, of $3,969,762 or 15.6 percent more than budgeted. Expenses also were down 3.5 percent for the month.
Caltrain’s ridership growth is fueled in part by a strong economic recovery in the Bay Area, as well as by the clear advantages of passenger rail over driving along the Peninsula corridor. As job growth and population growth continues in the area, it will become more important than ever that the Peninsula rail corridor be able to expand to handle all the ridership growth. Otherwise, Caltrain would have to start turning away passengers, which would be a ridiculous situation.
That’s one reason why the battle over the Caltrain/HSR EIS is so important. Peninsula NIMBYs want to prevent the rail corridor from ever expanding beyond two tracks, even though there is enough right-of-way to accommodate two more tracks for most of the route. While there aren’t plans to add more tracks in the immediate future, neither does it make sense to prevent future growth to accommodate ridership based on what a few NIMBYs think today.
Still, it’s great to see ridership continuing to rise, especially as Caltrain gets closer to its modernization and electrification project.