During Covid, a majority of riders are travelling for essential healthcare trips and other essential jobs, according to new data shared at the last Caltrain board meeting. Half of all trips are serving essential workers in healthcare, life sciences, and government, and another 10% are trips to medical appointments.
Ridership patterns have clustered around stations serving major medical centers in Palo Alto/Stanford and Redwood City. Many fewer people have been commuting to other office jobs, since non-essential office work has been prohibited under the County Health orders since March.
The share of low and middle-income riders has doubled, with more than twice the share of people who qualify for low-income housing assistance and more than twice the share of people in households making less than $100,000 per year, with a majority of households without access to a car.
These results show the importance of keeping Caltrain running during the pandemic, and the importance of Caltrain’s new equity policies with goals to make Caltrain more accessible to people across the income spectrum.