Who should pick up Caltrain tab? | May 28, 2010 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - May 28, 2010

Who should pick up Caltrain tab?

Council says VTA should step up, but with consequences for northern counties

by Daniel DeBolt

On Tuesday, the Mountain View City Council decided that Santa Clara County needs to step up its Caltrain funding, but not without making San Mateo and San Francisco counties pay for cutting back their support. Riders in those counties should face decreased train service and higher fares, council members said.

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E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com


Posted by Martin, a resident of Castro City
on May 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I don't see a problem with cutting the number of stops in san mateo county by 35%. It would certainly speed up the commute.

Posted by John the man, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Here's the problem: a LOT of the people who use Caltrain are trying to get to or from (wait for it) places in San Mateo or San Francisco counties. Not all of them, maybe not even a majority of them.

But think about it. Caltrain is a commuter train that basically runs through or to only three counties to begin with: SF, Santa Clara, and San Mateo. And it isn't unrealistic to say most Caltrain fares are inter-county; otherwise the trip is short enough that you simply drive.

If you decide to reduce service to two of the three counties that make up Caltrain, what are you also doing? Significantly reducing the utility for people who live in Santa Clara county. That's not a punishment that skips people who live in Santa Clara county, it hurts them, too.

The only real solution is to find an more objective funding source for Caltrain. When the funding decision of one county (San Mateo) can have such a domino-effect on all of Caltrain's funding, that isn't acceptable.

Posted by CC, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 27, 2010 at 7:44 pm

One stop for San Mateo at airport and One stop for SF. This will be the new HSR.

Posted by curious, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

"There is no train service in the country that breaks even or turns a profit, said Jim Lawson, a Milpitas City Council member and VTA staff liaison."

What is it with Liberals and trains?? Somehow they worship them. If people do not want to ride the trains and they can't generate enough revenue to pay for themselves, we should get rid of Caltrain. The world will get along fine without it.

And this certainly bodes poorly for the HCR (high cost railroad). But this is another religious issue with Liberals so reality cannot intrude.

Posted by David Bloom, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Some commenters have claimed that reducing service to San Francisco and San Mateo County would hurt Santa Clara County commuters. But that isn't necessarily true. Keep in mind that most Caltrain stations in San Mateo County are not major destinations -- they are not near major employment centers or weekend attractions. These stations have few deboardings in the AM and few boardings in the PM because most people using these stations live, not work, near them.

I would eliminate all midday, night, and weekend service from all stations outside of Santa Clara County except for 4th and King (and, for possibly half of the trains, Millbrae). Weekend trains will be much faster if they express through most of the extra stops. This will reduce operations costs, due to fewer operating hours.

The effect of this service reduction would be unfortunate for San Mateo County residents, but I think it would make the commute faster and better for most Santa Clara County residents.

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