Surplus Los Angeles Metrolink cars headed to Bay Area to help alleviate Caltrain overcrowding

April 14, 2015

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Ridership on Caltrain is at an all-time high, so the transit agency is investing in some hand-me-down train cars from Los Angeles to help handle all the passengers.

Caltrain bought sixteen of the cars from Metrolink, but there are concerns the used cars will need a lot of work before being put into use.

“Cars look pretty beat up, pretty old fashioned,” one rider said of the new cars.

Caltrain is averaging sixty thousand riders daily, smashing previous ridership records.

“We’re at standing room only,” Caltrain Spokesperson Tasha Bartholomew said.

During peak commute hours, Caltrain says each Metrolink car will add 145 more seats, and standing room for 150. But, getting them on the tracks could take up to a year.

“Each car has to go through an inspection process to see what the needs are,” Bartholomew said.

Would it be faster to just buy new cars? Silicon Valley’s “Father of Transit” Rod Diridon, Sr. says no.

“New cars would cost much more, and take years of environmental reviews and public hearings,” Diridon said.

Read the full story at CBS San Francisco.

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