Here’s the news of the day:
Caltrain Holds Community Meetings: Possible Fare Increase/Service Suspensions. Caltrain will hold four community meetings to receive public comments about proposed fare increases and service suspensions. The following proposals will be considered:
· Suspend all weekend service
· Reduce weekday early morning, midday and/or late evening service
· Suspend service south of Tamien to Gilroy
· Discontinue staffed ticket offices
· Increase the Full Fare one-way base or zone fares by 25 cents with corresponding changes to related fares
· Increase Go Pass to $155
· Modify parking fees and regulations
· Revise codified tariff to reflect ClipperSM card implementation: discontinue Monthly Pass grace period; discontinue the use of 8-ride ticket by more than one passenger per ticket; redefine youth to 17 years and younger; a charge for purchase of card.
Looks like these well-worn tracks in SoMA will get less use in the near future:
All the deets:
The Fiscal Year 2011 operating budget adopted by the Caltrain board includes $2.3 million in unspecified service reductions and fare increases.
Caltrain’s budget problems can be attributed to several factors. The commuter railroad has lost $10 million in state funds each year for the last three years. Last year the state eliminated State Transportation Assistance funds, forcing Caltrain’s three partners – the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Mateo County Transit District and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority – to reduce their support.
“The partners have been paying for Caltrain out of our pockets, and our pockets are empty,” said Caltrain Executive Director Michael Scanlon.
In addition, because of the recession, fewer people are commuting to work; Caltrain’s ridership has gone down almost 6 percent in the last year.
Last year, eight midday trains were eliminated and parking fees were increased to close a $2.6 million budget gap.
For the last several years, Caltrain has aggressively looked for ways to reduce its costs as it has struggled every year to balance its budget. Among the most recent cost-cutting measures has been a hiring freeze on all but the most essential positions. Salaries have been frozen and staff will take a total of 17 mandatory furlough days.
With the exception of Gilroy, the meetings will take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 19 at the following locations:
San Francisco: San Francisco Caltrain Station, 700 4th St.
San Carlos: Caltrain Headquarters, Auditorium, 1250 San Carlos Ave.
San Jose: San Jose Diridon Station, 65 Cahill St.
In order to accommodate Caltrain riders, the meetings in Gilroy will be held immediately after arrival of the southbound trains at 5:30 p.m., 7:07 p.m. and 7:47 p.m.
Gilroy: Gilroy Caltrain Station, 7150 Monterey St.
The Caltrain Joint Powers Board will conduct a public hearing on the proposed fare increases and service reductions at 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 2, at the Caltrain Administrative Office, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos.
To comment, attend one of the community meetings or the public hearing, send e-mail to email@example.com, send regular mail to District Secretary, Caltrain, P.O. Box 3006, San Carlos, CA 94070-1306, or call 1.800.660.4287 (TDD for hearing impaired only 650.508.6448).
Caltrain is a commuter rail line operating between San Francisco and San Jose, with commute service to Gilroy. Average weekday ridership on the mix of 90 local, limited and express weekday trains is 38,000. Local, hourly service is provided on Saturdays and Sundays.
Caltrain is owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, a partnership of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Mateo County Transit District and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.