At its board meeting last week, Caltrain announced record ridership that continues to climb. Average weekday ridership in May was 49,017, up 15% from the previous year, and June ridership was 50,390, up 13% from the previous year.
Caltrain CFO Gigi Harrington said that staff needed another month to close the books to see how much the additional ridership would contribute to improved bottom line performance.
Even though Caltrain ridership is healthy and climbing, it isn’t yet clear how Caltrain will balance its budget in 2014. Since Caltrain depends on payments from 3 partners (Muni, SamTrans, and VTA), budget challenge at SamTrans and Muni, create risks for Caltrain service. The agency is looking at changes to the share contributed by its 3 partners, and potentially transferring Gilroy service to VTA.
With electrification funded, the longterm future looks bright, but the 5 fiscal years between now and then still look murky.