I'm going to San Carlos to spit in the wind tonight.
Caltrain cannot cut *anything*.
A large number of people who take the train do not do so by coincidence. They structured their lives the way they have precisely because the train exists. I live in San Francisco and work in Sunnyvale solely because of the train - roughly as the schedule exists today.
The proposed schedule will not suit my needs. Taking a bike on board will become an exercise in folly, the sum capacity of trains will not fill overall demand and one could find themselves bumped off the last train - stranded. My company runs a shuttle to the proposed to be closed Lawrence Station. They could switch to Sunnyvale, but the shuttle cannot make a round trip in under the 30 minute headway of trains, meaning only 1 shuttle per hour for my company. The only VTA connection is from Santa Clara - also on the chopping block. Missing a train in SF by 1 second would cost me 1 hour - or an entire day of work - and with MUNI's unpredictability, the padding in my schedule would be intolerable. I would have to abandon the train, removing a critical block in my lifestyle. I would be forced to move, and I would not be alone.
If and when Caltrain recovered their funding, they would find that a substantial portion of their ridership is lost forever, having made changes in their lifestyle that rendered Caltrain obsolete. Potential new riders would not be groomed during the down time - residences near Belmont or Burlingame train station would attract solely people who have no interest in public transport. It could take decades to rebuild what was in place.
One could argue that we would be better served if the ridership moved closer to work. This could be true - but I won't be moving to Sunnyvale. I will be moving to Portland or Boulder and taking my tax dollars and job creating entrepreneurship along with me. It would be a big loss if the next Jerry Yang or Larry Page decided to attend MIT instead of Stanford due to the Bay Area's lack of dedication to what could be a great mass transit system. We are uniquely prepared for the future because we have in place a better skeleton of transit than most of the US - let's not throw that away over pennies.
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