From our friends in San Carlos
Media Contact: Christine Dunn
Caltrain Sets Public Hearings: Proposed Service Reductions, Station Closures, Fare increases and Declaration of Fiscal Emergency
The Caltrain Board of Directors today set two public hearings to receive comments on possible service and fare changes, station closures as well as to declare a fiscal emergency.
Caltrain Executive Director Michael J. Scanlon called the board’s action “the first step in the process” and said, “Hopefully, we will be able to come up with additional funding sources before we are forced to implement drastic service changes.”
Operation of the current 86 train schedule would result in a $30 million deficit. With projected available funds, Caltrain would be forced to operate 48 trains only during weekday peak-commute hours. In addition, service would be suspended at up to seven of the following stations: Bayshore, South San Francisco, San Bruno, Burlingame, Hayward Park, Belmont, San Antonio, Lawrence, Santa Clara and College Park.
All other service would be eliminated, including weekday service outside the commute peak, service south of the San Jose Diridon station and weekend service.
Service for special events, including baseball games and Bay to Breakers, also would be suspended.
A 25-cent increase to the base fare also will be considered.
Caltrain’s fiscal year begins July 1 and changes to service would take effect July 2.
The public hearings will be held at the March 3 Caltrain Board meeting at 10 a.m. at 1250 San Carlos Ave. in San Carlos.
In addition, four community meetings will be held throughout the Caltrain service area to give the public additional opportunity to review proposals, ask questions and provide comment.
Feb. 14 – 7 p.m. San Jose City Hall
200 East Santa Clara St., city council chambers
Feb. 16 – 6 p.m. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
1 South Van Ness, Atrium
Feb. 17 – 6 p.m. Gilroy Senior Center
7371 Hanna St.
Feb. 17 – 6 p.m. San Mateo County Transit District
1250 San Carlos Ave., second floor auditorium
Comments also can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org; sent by regular mail to District Secretary, Caltrain, P.O. Box 3006, San Carlos, CA 94070; or telephoned to 1.800.660.4287 (TDD for hearing impaired only 650.508.6448).
Caltrain relies on contributions from its three partner agencies - the City and County of San Francisco, the San Mateo County Transit District and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority – to balance its budget.
Information about the proposed declaration of fiscal emergency and service and fare changes will be posted on the Caltrain website – www.caltrain.com - by Feb. 9.
Last year, SamTrans was forced to reduce its annual contribution to Caltrain. As a result, four midday trains were eliminated, staffed ticket offices were closed and zone fares were increased 25 cents.
This year, SamTrans is expected to reduce its annual contribution to Caltrain to approximately $4.8 million, a reduction of approximately $10 million. If the other partners follow suit, the budget shortfall is expected to be $30 million.