Can 'Friends' Help Save Caltrain?

Former Palo Alto Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto has formed "Friends of Caltrain" to help prevent the train from spiraling downhill due to lack of funds. The tri-county train faces a $30 million deficit, with a total budget of just under $100 million.

Caltrain is the only Bay Area transit agency that has no dedicated funding mechanism - it's gotten by primarily on the annual contributions of the three transit agencies that serve the tri-county peninsula from San Francisco to San Jose/Gilroy since the state spun it off in 1992. The 'Friends' are holding a summit on Jan 29.

"Kishimoto hopes "the time has come" to raise the gas tax. She thinks a Bay Area-wide one-cent increase approved by voters in November 2012 would be the most realistic option to substantially bolster Caltrain's reliable revenue.

Additionally, a tri-county payroll tax of just $20 per year could bring in $35 million, well over this year's entire deficit, according to Kishimoto. She also thinks congestion pricing and high-occupancy toll lanes are "seriously worth considering."

Kishimoto sees a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax "for wherever you're traveling" as the ideal long-term solution."

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters

Full Story: Growing Movement To Save Caltrain From Potentially Devastating Cut

Comments

Comments

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Palo Alto Online: Uncertainties mount for struggling Caltrain

A local perspective - Palo Alto is the second busiest station after San Francisco.
Uncertainties mount for struggling Caltrain; Friends of Caltrain group seeks public input Saturday to keep and modernize the Peninsula rail line.

"Facing the looming possibility that Caltrain could go bankrupt if other means of financing are not found, Friends of Caltrain -- a grassroots group of riders, neighborhood groups, environmentalists and employers -- will hold a community meeting Saturday, Jan. 29, in support of the Peninsula's beleaguered rail line. Caltrain is facing a $30 million deficit on a $100 million budget in the coming fiscal year..." (continues)

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Report on the Friends of Caltrain Summit from Bay Citizen

Grassroots Mobilize to Save Caltrain: "Representative Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), was a keynote speaker, and she expressed her support for finding ways to keep the commuter rail line afloat, including the possibility of implementing new taxes to raise money for Caltrain."
[See You-Tube: "If you missed the 1/29 Caltrain summit"]

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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