(Photo by Pawel Biernacki/Flickr)

Caltrain is implementing a new schedule starting Monday aimed at improving service for essential workers and others dependent on public transit who have continued riding the agency’s trains amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has reduced overall ridership by 95 percent.
The new schedule includes more frequent off-peak and weekend service, with the ridership nine months into the pandemic tending to be essential workers who may travel during off-peak times.
There will be 68 trains on weekdays, with two trains per hour, per direction running throughout the day, allowing for 30-minute frequency at stations in higher demand, including the connection to or from BART at Millbrae.
On the weekends, Caltrain will run hourly Local service instead of the current 90-minute frequency, among other changes. The agency says weekend riders make up 17 percent of overall ridership, three times more than before the pandemic.
According to Caltrain, about 3,600 riders currently ride its trains on weekdays, and the agency does not expect ridership to fully recover in the new year.
Among other changes taking place soon is the permanent closure of the Atherton station next Saturday, allowing Caltrain to focus service on stations with higher ridership levels like Redwood City and Menlo Park.
The new schedule can be found at https://www.caltrain.com/schedules/weekdaytimetable/Weekday_Timetable_-_Effective_Dec_14__2020.html.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.