Tuesday at 7: Menlo Park Library - Friends of Caltrain present:
- Do you want to support Caltrain but don't understand why our transit systems seem in perpetual crisis and cost-cutting mode. ?
On Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - find out!
Event: Saving Caltrain, the Bay Area Connection
Starts: 7:00 pm
Location: Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, near Caltrain
Description: On November 9, Friends of Caltrain is hosting an educational event where you can learn more about the situation and what you can do to help. Carolyn Clevenger of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will present preliminary findings from the MTC Transit Sustainability project. Yoriko Kishimoto, former Mayor of Palo Alto, will discuss funding opportunities for Caltrain, and opportunities to get involved.Here's more about the event...
Putting Caltrain 'On The Right Track' to Sustainable Funding
Come to a community meeting on Caltrain on November 9th: why it's facing a crisis, how it fits into the Bay Area transit picture and what you can do about it!
Putting Caltrain "on the right track" to sustainable funding
Caltrain is today buffeted by strong gale winds: the fiscal crises of the state and counties, rising costs, the challenges, opportunities and trade-offs created by Federal and state rail programs. After a promising decade of strong ridership and revenue increases and a peak of 98 trains per day, Caltrain is facing a crisis … and perhaps an opportunity.
On Tuesday, November 9th, a new group, Friends of Caltrain, is sponsoring a community meeting on the Bay Area's transit crisis, how Caltrain fits within that picture, and ideas on how the community can support Caltrain "get on the right track". The Friends group is getting together a grassroots coalition of cities, neighborhood groups, employers, environmental groups, transit advocates, and most importantly, residents and transit riders to advocate for Caltrain's long term viability as our local and regional transit. We are interested in supporting a permanent and dedicated source of operating funds to supplement its farebox revenues.
Caltrain has the second highest (at 43%) rate among the 28 transit agencies of our region in farebox recovery, the percentage of revenues from user fees. For the remaining funding, most people do not realize that Caltrain must go to the three counties for discretionary funding every year. The counties have been steady in providing support, but Caltrain is just one (although essential) competitor for the beleaguered general budgets. Caltrain is looking at a "worst case" scenario of up to $30 million deficit next fiscal year. We have to look down this frightening cliff and ask ourselves some basic questions: Can we imagine life on the Peninsula without Caltrain? What structural changes should we examine to control long term costs and increase our ability to deliver more and better service that will attract more riders, not less? Caltrain today is close to max'ing out with its current system: Silicon Valley version 5.0 is still living with Caltrain version 1.5.
Most people I talk to want to support Caltrain but don't understand why our transit systems seem in perpetual crisis and cost-cutting mode. Come to the Menlo Park library on November 9th to learn about the regional context for Caltrain's challenges and how you can get involved and help!
One Less Car!Irvin Dawid
753 Alma St., #126, Palo Alto, CA 94301