Weekend Baby Bullet

October 7, 2008 at 8:38 pm 3 comments

One thing I would love to see is Caltrain running the Baby Bullet trains on weekends. Today, Caltrain runs only local trains (with stops at Atherton and Broadway) hourly on weekends. If Baby Bullet trains were provided on weekends, it would attract a lot of riders who normally don’t commute to San Francisco and otherwise take advantage of the Baby Bullet service.

In addition, I also see the weekend Baby Bullet as a way to get more political support for Caltrain. The fact is that most commuters (voters) travel locally and wouldn’t be able to take advantage of Caltrain on a daily basis. For them, their weekend experience on Caltrain is a make or break deal. Unfortunately, Caltrain only offers the least attractive service on weekends.

What prevents Caltrain from providing weekend Baby Bullet service? Caltrain’s answer is that it needs the weekend work window to accomodate construction. Caltrain has a long list of construction projects coming, from platform reconstruction to electrification. Because Caltrain is an active railroad, these construction can only proceed when trains don’t run as often in high speed.

Even so, I believe there are opportunities for some limited weekend express service. From a revenue and a political standpoint, it is a win-win. Despite the upcoming construction projects, weekend Baby Bullet does not require new taxes or a 10-year wait.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Both sides deserve some criticisms No on weekend shutdown, no on midday cuts, no on bike surcharge

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. js  |  October 14, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    There should be at least two baby bullets on Saturdays and Sundays: one in the morning and one in the evening. I am saying at least if more can not be accomodated. Just came from Europe and compared to the train services there we are decades behind. In addition, there should be trains going to Gillroy on weekends, especially during Holiday Season. Gillroy outlets, Stanford Shopping Center, Hillsdale Shopping Center and SF all have Caltrain stations that can make people use the train to go shopping and hopping rather than driving. And not only shopping. There are museums and events that people will attend more if Baby Bullets run on weekends. Please make it happen!

  • 2. whakojacko  |  October 17, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Agree with js. At least have a northbound bullet in the mornings (leave SJ around 11) and soutbound at nights (leave SF maybe around 10). Also, what about mid-day bullets on weekdays? Im not saying frequent ones, just maybe every other hour in each direction (ie leaves SJ at 10, noon, and 2)

  • 3. lm  |  June 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    How attractive you find the bullets depends on your station. There was lots of outcry when Caltrain started switching to lots of bullets during commuting hours from some folks. I would guess bullets make the most sense when rider volume is really predictable, such as commuting hours. That said, weekend bullets would be nice! Maybe weekend ridership to certain destinations (aside from SF) are more predictable than I think…


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