According to a recent, non-scientific survey of Caltrain riders, over 40% have used a transportation network (e.g. Lyft/Uber) to get to/from Caltrain at least some of the time.
This basic question didn’t cover how often the respondents use TNCs, whether they use the services at particular times (nights, weekends), for particular uses (entertainment vs. commuting), for 1st vs. last mile, and as part of what mode decision (might they otherwise drive to the station, take a bus/shuttle, bicycle, or not take the train at all).
The results of the opt-in survey, which reached nearly 3,000 riders, will be used to refine questions for more rigorous, random-sample customer experience survey. Hopefully, now that the potential importance of TNCs has shown up in the nonscientific survey, Caltrain will include the more specific questions in the scientific survey.
According to recent research by the Shared Use Mobility Center in partnership with the American Public Transit Association, TNC services tend to complement public transit, being used at offpeak times when transit is infrequent, especially for entertainment in the evening. The heaviest users of TNCs also tend to take public transit more overall, and drive less, than people who use TNCs less frequently. It will be interesting to see whether and how these patterns apply to Caltrain riders who also use TNCs.