Town Square

Riders flock to Caltrain

Original post made on Aug 6, 2012

When Caltrain announced its latest ridership statistics, even its own employees were surprised. The public transportation company experienced a record high in ridership, transporting an average of 50,390 people on weekdays in June, an increase of almost 11 percent since last June.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 6, 2012, 11:31 AM


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Caltrain Mountain View station needs a lot more parking. The existing alternative parking lot on the far side of 85 is a bit of a hike.

How about opening up the upper decks of the parking garages off Castro during the day to Caltrain riders?

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Tear down the old Evernote building and turn it into parking. At $4/day/spot, it could quickly pay for itself.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm

The express trains need another bike car. Every day bikers are turned away which pressures them to drive and take up more parking spaces.

Posted by Caltrain commuter, a resident of Castro City
on Aug 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Caltrain need more weekend express train. Traveling time from Sunnyvale to San Francisco is too long and very few express train there.
Since many of trainsets are idling at terminal or storage, it is wise to utilize them. They will generate revenue to offset additional fuel/crew cost, and get new customer.

Posted by Rpbert Cox, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm


Sorry, too late. If you walk past the area, you will see a sign that this is Phase 2 of the Classic Communities project that is being developed now at the corner of Calderon and Evelyn Avenues. Demoltion of the buiding is likely to happen in 2012 Q4 or 2013 Q1.

You can learn more about it at:

Web Link

-- Robert Cox, Vice Chair, Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association

Posted by parking is expensive, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Parking lots cost a fortune, like tens of millions of dollars for a medium sized lot, plus annual maintenance costs. They are going to have to charge way more than $4/day to make a profit, then drivers will complain about the parking fees being more than the train tickets. If parking lots were profitable in Mountain View, private companies would be building them. Caltrain has to look at ways to encourage people to get to the stations without having to park their cars, such as connections to buses or more secure bike racks or more space for bikes on the trains.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

There was someone a plan floated to add parking at the Cal train station, the money would have come from the RDA of Mountain View, you can thank Jerry Brown.

Posted by Robert Cox, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I wouldn't count on a parking lot at that location making a lot of money. I live just around the corner from the Caltrain station and my street is filled with cars every day from people who park there to avoid paying the nominal fee charged at the Caltrain lot. It's simple economics. Free is less than three or four dollars, and over time it adds up.

-- Robert Cox, Vice Chair, Old Mountain View Neighborhood Assn.

Posted by rob cox jr, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm

they should build a prison there

Posted by Robert Cox, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

@ rob cox jr

Trying to see if I'll take the bait?

-- Robert Cox

Posted by Susanne, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm

My girlfriend and I have been using the train service to go to plays and lunch in San Feancisco for 4 years now. We really enjoy the trip and are seniors so the price is wonderful and we enjoy talking and relaxing and no driving or parking problems. Its a wonder service. I wish they ran more trains when the Giants are in town. The walk to the park is very close and safe. Thank you cal train

Posted by Susanne, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

We have someone drop us off and call on our cell phone to be picked up. It really works for us and no parking problems at 10 a.m. in the morning when all lots are full/

Posted by OMV Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

If the streets near the Caltrain station are filled with cars that avoid paying the parking fee at the station, there are actually two things at work (1) simple economics, and (2) a lack of neighborhood parking controls to deter commuters from parking there. Some streets are marked as 5-hour parking but the city rarely enforces it, and some streets have no restrictions - so why shouldn't commuters parking there? - street parking that is unmarked is a public resource.

A resident parking permit system would take care of this, if it's truly a problem.

Posted by Robert Cox, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I served as co-chair of the OMVNA (Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association) residential parking subcommittee last year. We had the formal blessing of the city council to study the issue of residential areas with parking difficulties and come back with recommendations to council and staff.

I learned several important things by serving on that committee:

(1) A permit system would need to pay for itself in fees to be acceptable to the city leaders. If the people enforcing the permits are unionized city workers, the cost will not be cheap.
(2) Residents who live in the impacted areas don't want to pay a lot for a permit. Those who are most impacted would rather take their chances and compete for a free parking space rather than pay a fee.
(3) Enforcing a permit zone just transfers the competition "problem" from residents living inside the zone to those immediately outside the zone.
(4) People living where there is not a problem (yet) definitely don't want a permit system.

It is interesting to contrast Houghton St. and Palmita Place. Both were built as part of the Classics of Old Town development in 1995. But Houghton St. is a public street and Palmita Place is a private street. Because Palmita Place is a private street, the HOA controls and restricts parking to the residents. There are no parking problems. But Houghton St. residents have no HOA and can't do this, and their street is a public resource for Caltrain users and other parkers. The last I heard, Palmita Place residents pay about $50/month in HOA dues. An effective permit system is one of the things you get for those dues. Another is tighter controls on blight.

I used to be against private streets, but now I see that they can have some benefits, especially when the residents live in proximity to a service (like Caltrain) which does not offer ample free parking.

Posted by Ernesto, a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Free parking is very expensive to supply, and I would rather see Caltrain spend its money on transportation and not on real estate and parking lot maintenance. Driving to a station and then taking the train doesn't reduce air pollution much, so this should actually be discouraged. Caltrain, VTA and cities should provide enough shuttles that parking lots are not needed. Stanford has done a great job of this at their end. Palo Alto has a couple of free shuttles, too.

Posted by Robert Cox, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm

According to my next door neighbor, Caltrain has been taking at least one step in the right direction. Riders can now park for free at the Evelyn Avenue Light Rail Station and can take a free shuttle over to the Caltrain station.

As a result, parking in the residential area around the station has decreased somewhat and we can occasionally find open parking spaces on our street.

Posted by sam, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Hi- I drove to Caltrain and got there at 7:50 (later than I normally do)- the parking lot was full- despite me having a monthly parking spot I had no where to park!.
I circled around and around and stopped to ask people if there was an overflow parking lot- no one seemed to know....

Long story short I was 45 minutes late for work and ended up parking on a residential street- a hike!

I am happy to pay for parking - but at least have an overflow parking lot or signs directing people like me to one- it was an awful experience!

Posted by samjoe, a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I also live in the neighborhood opposite the caltrain station in MTV.
Its an absolute nuisance with these cal train riders parking their cars all over the street making it difficult to pull out of drive way.
The city administration is dead and has no control over it. the police dont care. its pathetic