How to Ride

Masked PassengersCaltrain is a commuter rail line that runs between San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose and down to Gilroy. Caltrain connects with other transit services like BART, SFMTA, SamTrans and VTA, as well as connections to San Francisco International Airport and San Jose’s Mineta International Airport.

Step 1: Plan Your Trip

Plan your transit trip with the Caltrain Weekday or Weekend timetable and the system map. Use trip planning apps like Google Maps or Transit and others. Check our real-time alerts page for current service info. Note, all odd-numbered trains are northbound and all even-numbered trains are southbound.

Step 2: Arrive at the Station

  • Arrive early: give yourself adequate time to park, purchase tickets, and do anything else before boarding.
  • Parking: You can pay for parking at the ticket vending machine (TVM) or with the Caltrain App. Note your parking stall number to enter into app or TVM. Visit our parking page.
  • Make sure you are on the correct platform.
  • Riders who need assistance should look for the International symbol of access and painted blue square.
  • Always stay behind the yellow safety line.
  • If you’re bringing your bike on board look for the Bike Car. Visit our Bikes page.

Step 3: Buying Tickets

Purchase a valid ticket BEFORE you board at the Station Ticket Vending Machine, by using a Clipper Card or the official Caltrain Mobile app. No valid ticket? You are subject to citation.

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 4: Riding Tips, Rules & Etiquette

  • Caltrain is a Bikes Board First system, allow bike riders to board first.
  • Passengers with bikes or scooters should use the Bike Cars.
  • Strollers must be folded before boarding and stored on the racks in the Luggage Car.
  • The use of bicycles, skateboards and scooters on platforms and ramps is prohibited.
  • No rollerblades and roller skates can be worn onboard trains or on station property.
  • Smoking is prohibited on trains and station property.
  • Store luggage in the designated areas.
  • Quiet Please: Keep cell phone use to a minimum and speak quietly. Radios and music players are allowed with earphones only.
  • Pay attention to the stops to make sure you don’t miss your station.
  • Look for the train numbers next to the locomotive or front cab car.
  • Personal items may be placed under the seat or in the overhead rack.
  • Open alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the trains beginning at 9 p.m. on special event days and nights.
  • In case of onboard emergency, the conductor will provide necessary instructions. Please follow instructions for safety reasons.
  • Keep vestibule, aisles and stairs clear.
  • Don't put feet on the seats.
  • On crowded trains, don't block seats with personal belongings.

Step 5: Arrive at Your Stop

Gather your belongings. If you forget something, report it to lost and found.
Remove all empty cups and other trash from the train.
Don't forget! Clipper Card users need to tag off.

Additional Rider Info:

 Onboard Amenities:

Wheelchair Car:
An area for up to three mobility devices is reserved in the second car from the north end of the train.  (Sometimes it's the northernmost car.)  Please wait at the blue boarding assistance square painted on the ground for assistance.


 Luggage Car:
Dedicated luggage racks are available. Please sit near your luggage.

Bike Car:
Bike space is available in the northernmost car as well as one other car (A gallery bike car fits 40 bikes, a bombardier bike car fits 24 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 age 6 or older. Bicycle riding on the station platforms and ramps is not allowed. More information on bikes can be found at

Caltrain always offers at least one restroom often located at the northern end of each train set.

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.