Caltrain funding crises may force move to commute-only service
- Published Saturday, April 3, 2010, by the San Francisco Chronicle
Caltrain ponders return to commute-only service
By Michael Cabanatuan
Plummeting sales tax revenues and shrinking ridership could force Caltrain to eliminate its midday, night and weekend service, and return to its roots as a commuter-only railroad.
"These are desperate times," said Christine Dunn, a Caltrain spokeswoman.
Caltrain, which receives its $97 million annual operating budget from the San Mateo County Transit District, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, expects to be short about $30 million in funding for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Michael Scanlon, Caltrain's executive director, told directors that the drastic cuts are necessary because of falling ridership as well as severe budget cuts at the agencies that fund the Peninsula's rail service.
The cuts would affect 5,718 riders per day on midday trains, 2,082 on night trains, and 18,211 on weekend trains. Caltrain carries an average of 35,041 riders per weekday.
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Caltrain goes broke; will likely cut weekend, night, midday trains