Over the last several years, a record number of people have come to rely on Caltrain to get them where they need to go. But for Caltrain to continue to be a useful means of transportation for our growing ridership, it has to be reliable. Regrettably, this week we have not lived up to your expectations or our own, and we apologize for that.
We recognize that your Caltrain commute has caused you delays, frustration and confusion.
Many of these delays are the result of mechanical malfunctions on aging locomotives. Caltrain’s locomotives are an average of 25 years old and despite our best efforts to maintain the fleet, as equipment ages there is an inherently higher risk of breakdowns.
In light of these recent problems, Caltrain will be reviewing maintenance and repair protocols with its contract operator. Additionally, Caltrain staff is assessing what fleet enhancement might be needed in the near-term in order to provide you with the high quality service you deserve.
We also understand that during incidents like these, it is critical for customers to have access to reliable information about how the service is affected. We have instituted several changes to improve announcements onboard and at stations and we will continue to provide real-time updates via social media.
Other improvements are on the way. Funding committed from our state, federal and regional partners will allow Caltrain to award contracts this year to electrify the railroad and replace most of our diesel fleet with new electric trains that will result in faster, more frequent, more reliable service.
We can do better, and we will.
We want to meet and exceed your expectations today and as we modernize the system. Stay tuned to this space for details.