Caltrain Modernization Program

How to Ride

Riding Caltrain can be easy if you follow the 5 Steps:
1. Plan
2. Go to a Station
3. Pay
4. Board and Ride
5. Arrive

Step 1: Plan (see video)
- Find a timetable; printed or online (Mobile Device? View the list of apps:
- Which direction are you going? Northbound or Southbound?
- Determine the Stations where you will be departing and arriving.
- On the timetable, locate the times that correspond to the stations, and note the train number listed at the top of the column.
- Fares are based on the number of zones traveled. Refer to the Timetable or System Map to determine the number of zones for your trip.

Step 2: Go to a Station (see video)
- RECOMMENDATION: Arrive at the station 15 minutes before the departure time.
- Make sure you are on the correct platform.
- Person needing assistance? Look for the Universal Disabled Symbol and Blue Box.
- Always stay behind the yellow safety line.
- Bike riding on the platforms is prohibited.
- Smoking is not allowed on the platforms or on the trains.

Step 3: Pay (see video)
- Review the different types of tickets available.
- Purchase a valid ticket BEFORE you board at the Station Ticket Vending Machine or by using a Clipper Card.
- Conductors check for Proof of Payment.
- No valid ticket? You are subject to a citation.

Step 4: Board and Ride (see video)
- Look for the train numbers next to the locomotive or front cab car.
- No bike? Please select an alternate car.
- All strollers must be folded before boarding and stored on the racks in the Luggage Car.
- Pay attention to the stops.
- Radios and music players are allowed with earphones only.
- Roller blades and rollerskates may not be worn onboard trains or on station property.
- Keep cell phone use to a minimum and speak quietly when in use.
- On crowded trains, don't block seats with personal belongings.
- Personal items may be placed under the seat or in the overhead rack.
- Store luggage in the designated areas.
- Open alcoholic containers aren't permitted on trains beginning at 9 p.m. on special event nights.
- Keep vestibule, aisles and stairs clear.
- Don't put feet on the seats.
- In case of onboard emergency, the conductor will provide necessary instructions.
- Be courteous to your fellow riders.

Additional Rider Info:

Types of Service:

Baby Bullet Express Service: Baby Bullet service travels between San Francisco and San Jose in about an hour, stopping at a few popular stations.

Limited-stop Service: Trains that serve fewer stations than local service.

Local-stop Service: Trains that serve all regular service stations.

Onboard Amenities:

Wheelchair Car:
An area is reserved for wheelchair users in the second car from the north end of the train.  (Sometimes it's the northernmost car.)

Luggage Car:
Dedicated luggage racks are available in the third car from the north end of the train. Please sit near your luggage.

Bike Car:
Bike space is available in the northernmost car as well as one other car (Bombardier equipment accommodates 48 bikes; gallery trains 80 bikes.) Bicycles must be stowed in the designated storage space onboard. Folding bicycles should be collapsed and stored under the seat in front of you or on the luggage rack but never on the seat next to you. Bicyclists must be at least 6 years old. Bicycle riding on the station platforms and ramps is not allowed. More information on bikes can be found at

Step 5: Arrive (see video)
- Gather your belongings.
- If you forget something, report it to
- Remove all empty cups and other trash from the train.
- Discard all trash using the receptacles provided on or near the platforms.
- Clipper Card users (8-ride and e-cash) need to tag off.

7/30/14 - rjc