Caltrain Electrification

Effectively Meeting Increasing Ridership Demands

Fehr & Peers performed the transportation analysis for the Caltrain Electrification EIR. Caltrain is a commuter rail system serving Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco counties. The Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP) is the major component to Caltrain’s Modernization Program, which will involve converting all Caltrain commuter rail service between San Francisco and San Jose from diesel to Electric Multiple Units (EMU) by 2021.

Fehr & Peers developed a cutting-edge direct ridership model (DRM) in order to project future station-level ridership as well as projected access modes. Development of the Caltrain DRM involved testing over 30 distinct variables and resulted in improved regional ridership estimates that accounted for local context, including land use and station accessibility. This process incorporated station area variables such as population and employment density, intersection density, bicycle infrastructure, station parking supply and feeder transit, in addition to transit service variables, in order to estimate future station access and egress mode shares.

The transportation operations analysis effort for this project involved modeling and analyzing 91 intersections in VISSIM and SimTraffic spanning across 16 cities in three counties. The models were carefully designed to account for the 40 at-grade crossings in the system, many of which occur at geometrically complex intersections with high levels of walking and bicycling activity. Fehr & Peers also performed a number of complementary analysis efforts including elevations of gate-downtime, system-wide passenger capacity, county- and city-level vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and quality of the pedestrian environment surrounding stations.

What are some the milestones and expectations of this project?

Summer 2017

Project broke ground.


Project scheduled for completion.

more riders by 2040.

The Caltrain Eletrification EIR was completed on an accelerated schedule, with a DEIR published after project kick-off and the FEIR certified after only 19 months. Fehr & Peers conducted mode of access surveys at 23 Caltrain stations and prepared 2020 and 2040 mode of access forecasts. We evaluated the effects of additional train service on station parking demands, station access, and congestion levels at at-grade rail crossings.

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