A New Ballot Measure Could Increase Caltrain's Funding by $108 Million Per Year

Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco county voters could see a ballot measure to fund an ambitious Caltrain plan with a one-eighth cent sales tax, amounting to more than $100 million dollars per year.

1 minute read

April 12, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By Lee Flannery @leecflannery

Regional Transit

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

A proposed measure supported last month by the SamTrans board of directors could afford Caltrain $108 million per year to increase its service frequency and purchase electrified trains if approved by Bay Area voters. Funding from a one-eighth cent sales tax would enable the rail line to serve thousands of more commuters and eventually extend service to downtown San Francisco.

Pending a two-thirds majority vote from Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco county boards of supervisors as well as VTA, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and Caltrain’s board, county voters would decide on the measure in November.

"Funding from the tax measure would help Caltrain run 168 trains each weekday between San Jose and San Francisco by 2022, officials say, with trains arriving every 10 minutes during peak commute hours. Gilroy and southern Santa Clara County would see more frequent service as well," reports Nico Savidge. Caltrain's future plans could increase service to 200 trips per day

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, total daily trips were reduced from 92 to only 42. Now that Caltrain commuters are staying home, the agency has seen a reduction in its operating budget, 70 percent of which is funded by passenger fares. It remains to be seen how much of the $1.3 billion federal stimulus will be afforded to Caltrain. 

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