Mountain View Voice

News - April 9, 2010

Caltrain faces big service cuts

$30 million deficit threatens midday, late night and weekend service

by Bay City News

Faced with a staggering deficit, Caltrain will consider cutting its service significantly in the next 15 months, spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew said Wednesday.

Bartholomew said the agency is losing money due to a combination of factors, including the loss of $10 million in state funding for each of the past three years and declining ridership, which accounts for 40 percent of the agency's revenue.

"Caltrain never had a dedicated funding source," Bartholomew said. "We've been running on a deficit for quite some time, and now everything is coming to a head."

She said changes, which could include cutting midday, late night and weekend service, would take effect by June 2011. The service cuts could be handled in a number of ways and could be implemented in one sweep or gradually, Bartholomew said.

At a Caltrain board meeting Wednesday, members said they wanted to discuss the issue further before making any decisions. One member recommended creating a three-member subcommittee to explore options.

Caltrain has a $97 million annual budget and faces a $2.7 million deficit for the current fiscal year. The deficit could balloon to about $30 million, Bartholomew said.

Bartholomew said Caltrain receives $40 million in annual funding from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and the San Mateo County Transit District, or SamTrans, which serves as the managing agency for Caltrain.

She said funding from all three entities may be drastically reduced in the near future.

"We all have the same problem," she said. "We're all losing money, and we're all just trying to figure out how to function."

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields