Bay Area Commuter Rail Ridership Soars Due To 'Baby Bullets'

Caltrain had been running as a traditional commuter rail service since it began operation as the San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road in 1864. With a recent influx of $128 million to provide 'super-express', or baby bullet service, ridership has soared.
November 14, 2005, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Average weekday ridership in September rose to 34,430 from 26,603 before Baby Bullet service began in June 2004. Revenue, meanwhile, is up 27.6 percent over last year's figure. Fares increased 17.5 percent July 1, which had been expected to reduce ridership."

Since June, 2004, Caltrain’s 76-train weekday schedule has grown to 96, including 22 Baby Bullets. While the new infrastructure and equipment that was made possible by California's investment in the system, staff has used ingenuity in scheduling to attract new riders.

"The board voted to eliminate more than 200 stops from the schedule...
We had to make some difficult and controversial decisions," said Caltrain board Chairman Mike Nevin. "But overall the strategy which was used to 'reinvent' Caltrain has been vindicated by overall ridership growth. Clearly, passengers want the faster travel times that Caltrain now offers."

Thanks to Richard Silver

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Published on Thursday, November 10, 2005 in San Francisco Business Times
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