Proximity to transit stations is spurring development and driving up property values along the Caltrain corridor from San Francisco to Silicon Valley. Rising Caltrain ridership sparked by the introduction of the Baby Bullet express service nine years ago already has boosted property values and construction activity. But $1.5 billion in planned Caltrain improvements, particularly electrification of the current diesel-fuel system, are expected to elevate values even more.
Since Baby Bullet service started in 2004 cutting travel times between some stations, Caltrain’s average weekday ridership has skyrocketed nearly 97 percent to 47,060, according to the agency. This year’s passenger count is up 11 percent from last year, and the continued increase has prompted Caltrain to add to its daily schedule, going from 86 trains to 92.
“Caltrain predicts passenger counts will climb in excess of 60 percent by 2035 to more than 75,000 passengers on average every weekday.“
Electrification will shorten travel times even more and allow more frequent service on the 77-mile, 32-station route from San Francisco to Gilroy. “The Caltrain system is already seeing unprecedented growth, particularly on its peak-hour commute trains,” said Marian Lee, Caltrain’s chief modernization officer. “Modernization, which includes electrification and the installation of an advanced signal system, will not only help Caltrain meet the ridership demands we know are coming as the Peninsula population continues to grow. It will create a service that is cleaner and quieter.”
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