Caltrain appears ready to drastically cut service and hike fares as it continues to deal with a $30 million dollar deficit. While the cuts revealed this evening aren’t as bad as was initially expected thanks to a new funding pact with transit agencies in San Francisco and Santa Clara County, they still represent a major decline in service on the 150-year-old Peninsula rail corridor.
- Five stations will close entirely: Bayshore in San Francisco, Hayward Park in San Mateo, Capitol in San Jose, Broadway in Burlingame, and Atherton. Capitol is currently served only on weekdays and Broadway and Atherton are currently only served on weekends.
- Weekend service will end at nine more stations: 22nd Street in San Francisco, South San Francisco, Belmont, San Carlos, California Avenue in Palo Alto, San Antonio in Mountain View, and Lawrence in Sunnyvale, as well as service to Tamien via shuttle bus.
- Weekday service will decline by
12 off-peak10 peak-hour trains to a total of 76 daily. Service hours will be preserved by cutting the fastest Baby Bullet trains and replacing them with fewer local and limited trains. (Edited April 6 – MN)
- Fares will increase by 25 cents on one-way tickets, and parking charges are expected to increase as well.
All of the changes are expected to save about $3.3 million in net operating costs, and the agency expects to generate $2 million more by increasing fares and parking charges.
In slightly sunnier news, the option to end service between San Jose and Gilroy has been taken off the table. Also, with the weekend station closures service between San Jose Diridon and San Francisco 4th and King will speed up drastically – each weekend local train will make the trip in about 1 hour and 11 minutes, compared to 1 hour and 36 minutes for weekend local trains today. Weekday local trains will make the trip in about 1 hour and 26 minutes under the new proposal.
What are your thoughts on this new package of cuts that could go into effect as early as July? Please let me know in the comments, but also let Caltrain know here.