Millbrae station

Coordinates: 37°36′01″N 122°23′12″W / 37.6003°N 122.3867°W / 37.6003; -122.3867
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bay Area Rapid Transit Caltrain
A southbound Caltrain train at Millbrae in July 2018
General information
Location200 North Rollins Road (BART)
100 California Drive (Caltrain)
Millbrae, California
United States
Coordinates37°36′01″N 122°23′12″W / 37.6003°N 122.3867°W / 37.6003; -122.3867
Line(s)BART W-Line
Peninsula Subdivision[1]
Platforms2 side platforms (Caltrain)
1 side platform, 1 island platform (BART)
Tracks2 (Caltrain)
3 (BART)
Parking2,900 spaces
Bicycle facilities30 lockers (BART)
Racks (Caltrain)
Other information
Fare zone2 (Caltrain)
Rebuilt1890; 1907[2]
June 22, 2003 (modern intermodal terminal)
Previous names17 Mile House (until c. 1865)[2][3]
20241,767 (weekday average)[4] (BART)
February 20183,340[5] per weekday Decrease 2.9% (Caltrain)
Preceding station Bay Area Rapid Transit Following station
Terminus Red Line San Francisco International Airport
toward Richmond
Yellow Line
(after 9pm)
San Francisco International Airport
Preceding station Caltrain Following station
San Bruno Local (L1) Burlingame
Weekend Local (L2) Broadway
South San Francisco Limited (L3) Hillsdale
San Bruno Limited (L4) Burlingame
22nd Street Limited (L5) San Mateo
San Francisco
Baby Bullet (B7) Hillsdale
22nd Street
(reverse peak)
Planned services
Preceding station California High-Speed Rail Following station
San Francisco 4th and King Street
Phase I San Jose
towards Merced or Bakersfield
San Francisco - 4th & Townsend Phase I San Jose
towards Merced or Bakersfield
Former services
Preceding station Bay Area Rapid Transit Following station
Terminus Purple Line
2003–2004; 2019–2021
San Francisco International Airport
San Bruno Dublin/​Pleasanton–​Millbrae line
Terminus Dublin/​Pleasanton–SFO/​Millbrae line
San Francisco International Airport

Millbrae station is an intermodal transit station serving Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Caltrain, located in Millbrae, California. The station is the terminal station for BART on the San Francisco Peninsula, served by two lines: The Red Line before 9 pm and the Yellow Line during the early morning and evening. It is served by all Caltrain services. The station is also served by SamTrans bus service, and Caltrain shuttle buses, and other shuttles.

Rail service to the area began with 17 Mile House station, which opened in 1864 on land deeded by Darius Ogden Mills; it was renamed Millbrae the next year. The station was rebuilt in 1890 and 1907 after twice burning down. The 1907-built station was threatened with demolition in 1976, but was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. A modern intermodal terminal opened in 2002, connecting BART and Caltrain for the first time. The older station building was restored for use as a railway museum, which opened in 2004.

Station layout[edit]

Two BART trains at Millbrae, with the left train in revenue service

Millbrae station has five tracks and three platforms at ground level, with a fare concourse on a mezzanine level above. The Caltrain tracks are on the west side of the station. The westernmost (southbound) track has a side platform; the northbound track uses half of an island platform shared with BART. South of the Millbrae Avenue bridge, the northbound track splits in two to form a triple-track section to allow passing trains. The northbound platform extends past the BART area as a side platform, and curves to serve the diverging track.[2]

BART has three tracks; the western track serves the east side of the northbound Caltrain platform (with faregates between the two systems), allowing a cross-platform connection between northbound service. The other two tracks serve an island platform. Because ridership at Millbrae is lower than expected, only the western track is used in regular service; the other two tracks are used for train storage.[6]

A 2,200-space parking garage (with direct access to the mezzanine), busway, and surface parking lots are located on the east side of the station. A smaller busway and parking lot for Caltrain are on the west side.[7]

The BART platform at Millbrae has six sculptures partially embedded in concrete blocks, with each figure representing a different era in community history.[8] Forty-two terrazzo benches installed at the station show scenes of local nature and history.[9][10]


Former stations[edit]

The old Southern Pacific station near the current intermodal terminal

In 1862, after buying a section of Rancho Buri Buri from José de la Cruz Sánchez, Darius Ogden Mills deeded land to the under-construction San Francisco and San Jose Railroad in exchange for a station to allow guests to visit his estate. The line opened in October 1863; the adobe 17 Mile House station opened in 1864 and was renamed Millbrae the next year.[2][3] The line was soon taken over by the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) for its Peninsula Commute service. The station burned in 1890.[2]

The station burned again in 1906 and was replaced with a two-story colonnade-style depot of standard SP design the next year.[11][12] It was located on the west side of the tracks just south of Millbrae Avenue. In 1976, preparing to discontinue the money-losing Peninsula Commute (which instead became publicly funded as Caltrain), the SP proposed to tear down the station.[2][13] However, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Southern Pacific Depot on September 1, 1978, after efforts by the newly formed Millbrae Historical Society.[12] In August 1980, the building was moved 200 feet (61 m) south to make room for a widening of Millbrae Avenue.[2][13]

Modern station[edit]

BART faregates which exit directly onto the northbound Caltrain platform
Civic Center on display in 2018

As part of the BART SFO Extension, a new intermodal terminal for BART, Caltrain, and Samtrans was built in Millbrae just north of Millbrae Avenue. BART service to the $70 million facility began on June 22, 2003.[14][2] The station was initially served by the Pittsburg/Bay Point line, plus a shuttle service to San Francisco International Airport station (SFIA).[15][16] The shuttle service was discontinued on February 9, 2004. The Richmond line began serving Millbrae at weekday peak hours, with the Pittsburg/Bay Point line providing service at other times.[17]

BART service to stations in San Mateo County is funded by SamTrans, rather than county tax revenues. As ridership stayed below expectations, SamTrans had to pay a larger-than-planned operating subsidy to BART. On September 12, 2005, in order to lower these subsidies, BART reduced service so that only the Dublin/Pleasanton line served SFIA and Millbrae stations.[18] SamTrans and BART reached an agreement in February 2007 in which SamTrans would transfer control and financial responsibility of the SFO/Millbrae extension to BART, in return for BART receiving additional fixed funding from SamTrans and other sources.[19]

On January 1, 2008, BART increased service to the San Mateo stations. Service to Millbrae station was provided by the Richmond line on weekdays, and the Dublin/Pleasanton line on weeknights and weekends. Direct service between SFIA and Millbrae was discontinued.[20] On September 14, 2009, the Pittsburg/Bay Point line was extended to Millbrae on nights and weekends (with the Dublin/Pleasanton line cut back to Daly City station), restoring direct service at those times.[21] Millbrae station was expected to have some 16,500 daily BART boardings by 2017, but has consistently fallen well short of projections, with under 7,000 daily boardings by then.[22]

On February 11, 2019, SFO–Millbrae line service resumed on weekdays and Sundays. The station continues to be served by the Richmond line on weekdays, with the Antioch line (formerly the Pittsburg/Bay Point line) serving both SFIA and Millbrae on weeknights and Saturdays.[23] On February 10, 2020, the SFO–Millbrae line began running during all operating hours, with the Antioch line operating only to SFIA.[24] SFO–Millbrae service ended on August 2, 2021; it was replaced by an extension of the Richmond line to SFIA weekdays and Saturdays, and an extension of the Antioch line to Millbrae evenings and Sundays.[25] Richmond (Red Line) service began operating on Sundays effective February 14, 2022, with Antioch (Yellow Line) trains serving Millbrae only during evenings.[26] On September 11, 2023, the Red Line began running between Millbrae and Richmond via SFO, with Millbrae serving as a terminal at all operating hours.[27]

Caltrain no longer needed the historic station building after operations moved to the modern station. The Millbrae Historical Society negotiated with Caltrain to use the building as a museum in exchange for maintaining it. The Millbrae Train Museum opened in October 2004.[13] In 2006, Pullman car Civic Center, built in 1941 for the City of San Francisco, was moved adjacent to the station and opened as an exhibit.[28][29] The Society plans to acquire a locomotive and construct a section of track to run excursion service.[28][13]

As built, Millbrae station had four large surface parking lots and a busway on the east side of the tracks. Construction of a mixed-use transit-oriented development project, Gateway at Millbrae Station, began replacing the surface lots in 2020. The first lot closed on January 25, the second on February 22, and the remaining two on March 23.[30] The busway closed on May 18, 2020, with bus and shuttle stops relocated.[31] The east surface entrance and elevator were temporarily closed on February 1, 2022, with access to the garage maintained directly from the station concourse.[32]


Millbrae is planned to be a California High-Speed Rail station. Senate Bill 1029, passed in 2012, provided funds to lengthen the Caltrain platforms for future high-speed rail trains.[33] The station is to be expanded to accommodate the service.[34]

Transit connections[edit]

A SamTrans bus in the busway at Millbrae

Millbrae station is served by a number of bus routes and shuttles:[7]

A busway adjacent to the southbound Caltrain platform is used by the Burlingame-North Shuttle, Broadway Millbrae Shuttle, and SamTrans routes 38, 397, and 713. SamTrans route ECR stops on El Camino Real to the west of the station. Most of the shuttle services stop on Rollins Road east of the station.[7]


  1. ^ SMA Rail Consulting (April 2016). "California Passenger Rail Network Schematics" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. p. 13.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Duncan, Mark (October 4, 2005). "The San Francisco Peninsula Railroad Passenger Service: Past, Present, and Future" (PDF). pp. 57–59. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Millbrae (1978)". Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board. 2013.
  4. ^ "Monthly Ridership Reports". San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. February 2024.
  5. ^ "2018 Annual Count Key Findings Report" (PDF). Caltrain. 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 20, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "Station Map: Millbrae Station" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Commission. July 31, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Transit Stops: Millbrae Station" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Commission. February 3, 2020.
  8. ^ King, John (June 22, 2003). "Surprises await riders at new BART stations". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "Millbrae BART Station Art Unveiling & Open House" (Press release). Bay Area Rapid Transit7. April 29, 2003.
  10. ^ Jones, Carolyn (October 25, 2002). "Putting the art in BART / Mosaics, murals and steel cows brighten up Oakland, Berkeley stations". San Francisco Chronicle.
  11. ^ Bender, Henry E. Jr. (2013). Southern Pacific Lines Standard-Design Depots. Berkeley and Wilton, California: Signature Press. p. 241. ISBN 9781930013339.
  12. ^ a b Baxter, Frances (December 2, 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form". National Park Service.
  13. ^ a b c d Somers, Janet (February 4, 2005). "Train museums are just the ticket for railroad aficionados / Old Millbrae depot displays everything from china to chairs". San Francisco Chronicle.
  14. ^ "BART Chronology January 1947 – March 2009" (PDF). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. March 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2013.
  15. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (April 18, 2003). "BART to link to SFO June 22 / After many delays, latest date is firm, transit officials say". San Francisco Chronicle.
  16. ^ "30 million trips and counting: BART celebrates 10th anniversary of SFO extension". Bay Area Rapid Transit District. June 21, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  17. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (February 7, 2004). "BART changing schedule so more go to SFO / Peninsula ridership below expectations, needs a boost". San Francisco Chronicle.
  18. ^ Murphy, Dave (August 11, 2005). "PENINSULA / BART to airport to be cut / Weekend trains to be kept on Peninsula". San Francisco Chronicle.
  19. ^ "BART-SFO Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Commission. February 14, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2009.
  20. ^ Gordon, Rachel (December 9, 2007). "BART to raise fares, increase train frequency starting Jan. 1". San Francisco Chronicle.
  21. ^ "Off-peak service reductions began Monday, September 14th" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. September 15, 2009.
  22. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (July 4, 2017). "Millbrae BART Station ridership isn't near original expectations". San Francisco Chronicle.
  23. ^ "February 11 schedule change impacts weekdays and Sundays" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. January 15, 2019.
  24. ^ "Weekday Schedule as of February 10, 2020" (PDF). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District.
  25. ^ "BART returns to near-regular service starting 8/2/21" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. July 26, 2021.
  26. ^ "BART schedule change begins 2/14/22, extending service to midnight on Sundays" (Press release). Bay Area Rapid Transit District. January 10, 2022.
  27. ^ "BART unveils reimagined schedule starting in September aimed at increasing ridership" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. April 27, 2023.
  28. ^ a b "Millbrae Train Museum". Millbrae Historical Society.
  29. ^ "Millbrae Train Museum". City of Millbrae. August 10, 2017.
  30. ^ "All Remaining Surface Parking Lots at Millbrae Station to Close Monday, March 23, 2020" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. March 20, 2020.
  31. ^ "Passenger Loading and Shuttle Stops Moving at Millbrae Station 5/18/20" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. May 13, 2020.
  32. ^ "Millbrae Station - temporary parking and access changes beginning 2/1/2022" (Press release). San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. January 24, 2022.
  33. ^ "Connectivity & Bookend Projects California". High-Speed Rail Authority.
  34. ^ "San Francisco to San Jose Project Section Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement Volume 1 Chapter 2" (PDF). CHSRA. July 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.

External links[edit]