Good news for Bay Area residents who frequently take Caltrain: it’s getting a significant upgrade. On December 7, Caltrain announced a new schedule and amenities that will accompany the new electric train cars.
Caltrain has embarked on updating the service by replacing all old diesel cars with new electric cars for service between San Francisco and San Jose.
“With electrified Caltrain service now less than a year away, it is exciting to see a new schedule in place that will allow riders to get to their destinations quicker and more often,” said Caltrain Board Chair Jeff Gee. “While there is still a lot of work ahead of us, the vision of greener, quieter and more efficient trains will soon be a reality.”
Along with the greener train cars, commuters can look forward to more frequent service, especially during the weekend. Overall, the plan outlines a 20% increase in service across stations, and on the weekends, trains will come every 30 minutes, as compared to the hourly schedule they run on now.
The trains are expected to be faster than their predecessors, with an express train from San Jose to San Francisco running in under an hour and travel time between Southern Santa Clara County (Gilroy/Morgan Hill) to San Francisco decreasing by 30 minutes.
“The new service plan is a huge step forward not only for those of us who regularly ride Caltrain, but also for incentivizing more people in the region to choose Caltrain over driving. I’m thrilled that Caltrain has prioritized the voices of riders, who have consistently said that we want faster service and more frequent trains, which is exactly what the new service plan is delivering,” said Brian Shaw, Caltrain Citizen Advisory Committee Chair.
Amenities on the cars include free WIFI, charging stations for each seat, and accessible bathrooms that include a baby changing station.
A greener Caltrain
The project isn’t just good for commuters; the environment is another major factor in the new project. The update service is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide ( that’s the same as taking 55,000 cars off the roads). Improved air quality and less noise are also expected with the new service.
The electrification project is expected to be completed in fall 2024, and the new schedule will be put in place once the project is completed.