Friday, February 25, 2011

Unclear on the concept

Here is a tweet from @CTWkendBullets - as far as I can tell an official Caltrain Twitter Account.

Take Caltrain Weekend Bullet to Disney On Ice 3 pm show at San Jose HP Pavilion. Show Caltrain ticket; save $5.

The one bullet on the schedule arriving before the show - arrives at 1:03 PM - 2 hours before the show. There is a local arriving 10 minutes before the show (probably not enough time for kids) but also one arriving an hour and ten minutes before the show. With young kids, longer on a train is probably better than 2 hours roaming around HP Pavilion to save 20 minutes on the train.

I have definitely changed my position on a lot of the station closures (though Hayward Park? Why?) but Caltrain should have been more aggressive with this pilot and put in MORE BULLETS, and REMOVED some local trains. Say for example going with every other train on the bullet schedule. Optimally increased ridership along with increased support, they could run 30 minute headways on the weekend, with every other train being a bullet.


Jason Thorpe said...

No kidding. I used CalTrain last weekend (and will take it again this weekend) to get home after having to work on Sunday (biked in). Seems absurd to have only one bullet in the morning and one in the evening (for each direction). Not to say I didn't enjoy the relaxing train ride home... but it did make it tough to get back home in time for my wife to go to an appointment!

John C. Baker said...

Not on topic, but I got on the train (263) at Hayward Park Wednesday after covering a game at Serra High (about 10 others got on with me). Just for the record, I would not have made it to Hillsdale on time if Hayward Park were closed. :-)

djconnel said...

It's 1.5 miles to San Mateo and 1.1 miles to Hillsdale from Hayward Park. San Mateo is the better choice as it's further north on a northbound line. If buses avg 10 mph and you need to wait 5 min for a bus, that's a 14 minute trip to San Mateo from Hayward Park, but the 263 presently gets there 3 minutes later, so it's an 11 minute difference. But then if the train is skipping every other of the present stops, you save 2 minutes per skipped station the rest of the way = 6 total, so even in the relatively bad case of a 2-zone trip starting from a short walk from the Hayward Park station, the expected increase in travel time is only around 5 minutes. Had your trip been 3-4 zones, the savings from the skipped stops are obviously proportional.

Of course, this assumes buses or taxis are available, although it's easy enough to run 1.5 miles in 14 minutes, which is what I'd probably do.

I will be curious to see how the weekend bullet experiment is analyzed. Obviously the present schedule is well shy of critical utility.

295bus said...

If I take a weekend bullet from RWC to SF, that's 35 mins, which is pretty good. But unless I stay all day, it's back home on a local, so 53 mins.

Ok by myself if I have time and a book.

If I'm bringing the kids, and don't want everyone to get sick of riding trains, I better just drive and park at a closer-in station--usually it's that's Millbrae so we can come back on BART (instead of having to rely on Muni to get us punctually back to 4th & King).

Bart said...

One way to have more expresses while still serving all stations is to have an AB or ABC style schedule. Each station would be served by either train A, B, or C with every once and a while AB or ABC transfer stations.

I'm not sure what would have to be enhanced in the passing track situation to support that but am sure someone has looked at that.