South Bay CALTRAIN Schedule Change On October 7, 2019

South Bay CALTRAIN Schedule Change On October 7, 2019

Caltrain's SB274 Will Stop Servicing Capitol, Blossom Hill, Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy Stations starting on October 7th, 2019!

We are coming up on October 7th 2019 and many of my fellow Caltrain passengers seem completely unaware that some of them are facing an upcoming schedule change that will see SB274 no longer going beyond Tamien to:

Some even think of the SB274 as a backup if they miss the SB268! (BTW: Menlo Park will now only have two trains going past the South Bay unless you want to walk a mile and a half to Palo Alto.)


Aside from the information on their website, Caltrain has yet to have their conductors inform anyone on the three SB trains themselves (as of the date of this writing) that a change is coming, which seems negligent on their part. I keep asking a few riders a week, for the last few weeks and they are stunned to hear about the upcoming change.

With a change this big, I think riders need to know sooner than later so they can make the appropriate commuting adjustments, if possible.


Under the Caltrain website's link, 'Projects and Plans' there's a link titled 'South Santa Clara County Service.'  But it's here at the links (provided below) that they are informing riders of a change... (as if we all visit the Caltrain website every day!!)

"Caltrain to Adjust Gilroy Service 
Effective Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, Caltrain will adjust its southbound Gilroy service based on feedback provided by our South Santa Clara County riders in a survey conducted on April 23, 2019 that indicated their preference to have an earlier train between the first two trains.  Train 262 will provide service to all stations from Tamien Station to Gilroy Station. Train 262 will also stop at Lawrence Station. Train 274 will no longer serve stations south of Tamien Station and will terminate at Tamien Station. The last train to stations south of Tamien station will be Train 268.
Northbound service from Gilroy will remain unchanged."


With the SB274 no longer going past Tamien, this seems to impact rider schedules from San Francisco and down, (see the image below) because now for most stops, the last train one can take that could get them to the aforementioned southerly locations will be relegated to the MUCH EARLIER Caltrain SB268, as your latest option, that's over 30 minutes earlier.

Pick ups at the following stations will no longer be an option for getting to the SB when the SB274 no longer goes to the South Bay:
  • 22nd, 
  • Bayshore, 
  • San Bruno, 
  • Burlingame, 
  • San Mateo, 
  • Hayward Park,  
  • Belmont,
  • San Carlos

For some of the riders coming from the more northerly stations, they will have to take the SB264 to Redwood City, get out, then wait to board the SB268 which will take them the rest of the way to said southerly stops.  OR take the 264 to San Jose Diridon station and take the VTA bus or VTA train/bus combo to get to MH, SM or Gilroy.

Here's how the schedule is shaping up right now, with the 274 greyed out, and the new 262 line:

That's the end of the informational section.
Now on to some curious observations I've seen



I became keen to the ridership number errors because I spent nearly three years riding the three southbound Caltrain rides that service Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy and the thing I noticed was that THE RIDERSHIP NUMBERS ARE INCORRECT. By quite a bit. Had they double checked their numbers they might have noticed this discrepancy.

On page five of their report, looking at just the following stations for both ingress and egress, (Gilroy, San Martin, Morgan Hill, Blossom Hill and Capitol) they indicated that the three northbound morning trains pick up a total of
  • 800 morning passengers.
But then they say that people getting off of the three evening southbound trains tally up to:
  • 712 evening passengers are getting off.
(These number discrepancies have the making of a great mystery/sci-fi movie in there! Or there should be plenty of available housing if ~90 people a day aren't coming home!)

My Conjectures:

Maybe Caltrain is trying to make their argument for removing the 274 with supposed low ridership numbers so that they can pack the trains with more riders, buffering their bottom line a bit better with these three trains.


Around 90 people a day only take the train to work, then ride with someone to come home, because, who would not want to be part of that SB 101 parking lot in the afternoon/evenings???


Maybe their annual counting staff just suck at counting, and can't be trusted. I'd have a serious conversation with that crew of youth volunteers!


Either way, Caltrain HAS DECIDED to remove the Caltrain SB274 and anyone whose commuter livelihood depended on that train needs to start figuring out their new schedule for themselves. I know a few who commute on the AM train from Gilroy to SF, and now, their days may be getting shortened, whether they like it or not! Time to consider driving those extra 30 miles to San Jose folks!

According to a number of Caltrain conductors (at the time of this original posting), they will start apprising the riders of the upcoming change, but I can't help but wonder when. For some, there may be some drastic commuting changes that need to be made. For me, if the trains are all going to be packed knee to knee all the way into the South Bay, it's going to suck, especially on those frequent days when the train's AC can't handle cooling down a full car of riders.

As of 9-12-19, the conductors have yet to be told to say anything.


Caltrain Projects and Plans Main Link

Caltrain South Santa Clara Service Notice Page

The April Survey Results PDF Report (I'm hosting on Google Drive)

My WORKSHEET Where I break out the passenger numbers from  the report!

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