Improving Bay Area Economy Pushing Caltrain Ridership To Limit

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Caltrain, San Francisco station

Passengers exit a Caltrain at the San Francisco station. (CBS)

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SAN MATEO (KCBS) — Thanks to the improving employment picture in the Bay Area, many mass transit systems are seeing increased ridership, pushing Caltrain to its limits.

“We’re up to about 54,000 [riders], so these are all-time levels,” said Caltrain board member Ken Yeager. “I’ve been on the Caltrain board for 13 years and remember when it was sort of in this 30,000 level, but the fact that we’re up to 52,000, 54,000 really should show you the incredible increase in capacity and ridership that we’re having.”

Yeager said that the increase is a mixed blessing and is glad people are riding, but the concern, he said, is slowly mounting that at some point the trains might reach capacity.

He noted that the freeways are totally clogged and that commuters are looking for alternatives, but that the system can only handle so many people and trains.

Yeager asked for a report at the next board meeting to see exactly what the capacity levels are. He added that another major issue is to complete the Environmental Impact Report so that electrification of Caltrain’s system can begin in 2019.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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