Weekend Baby Bullet

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.