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Caltrain Ridership Grows as Workers Return to Offices and Gas Prices Soar

SAM BRUNO (KPIX) -- With the omicron wave and fiery train crash in San Bruno in the rearview mirror, Caltrain continues its push to get more people to take the train.

Caltrain is discounting all fares by 50 percent for the entire month of April (with the exception of the "Go Pass") as an incentive to get more people on the train. The rationale? More employers are bringing employees back to the office and there are more events that are starting throughout the Bay Area, including 10 Giants home games.

The discount came as a nice surprise to Faye Koester on Saturday.

"I go 'Wow! Why is the ticket so cheap today?'" she said.

"As the region continues to recover from the lingering impacts of the pandemic, we want to remind the public that Caltrain is the travel mode of choice for so many great Bay Area destinations," said Caltrain acting executive director Michelle Bouchard. "By reducing our fares for the month of April we can reward our existing customers for their loyalty and encourage the next generation of public transportation riders to use Caltrain for their traveling needs."

Some regular passengers say they've noticed the trains are starting to get busier.

"I feel like more of the seats are getting filled," said Jovelyn Marinas. "I think more people are going to work."

Caltrain ridership statistics confirm that observation.

In January, Caltrain averaged around 9,000 passengers per weekday. In February, Caltrain averaged around 11,000 per weekday.

The transit agency is still waiting on final figures for March but the preliminary numbers show the positive trend should continue, according to a spokesperson.

"I think gas prices definitely have something to do with it," said Jennyfer, who took the train on Saturday. "But also, I feel that more people are probably more comfortable being in a closed space with others."

Caltrain will resume its regular service, with a 104 train schedule, on Monday, April 4.

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