Caltrain Looking To Cut almost Half Its Stations and Yet…

by on February 10, 2011

in consumer

CaltrainCaltrain has said that it is looking to close almost half its stations between San Jose, CA and San Francisco and is also looking to cut weekend service out altogether.  These are moves to help shore up the huge deficit the operation has developed.

I’m not sure how they got to this point or if they were hoping for some help from the HSR project, but I did find it interesting that as soon as it looked like the HSR project was getting squashed by local cities not wanting above ground HSR rails, suddenly Caltrain was cutting services.  They’ve already reduced the number of trains per weekday and now they’re looking to cut more services.  I’m not saying there’s a correlation, I just found the timing fascinating.

Meanwhile, despite the financial challenges the train runner is facing, they’re paying their CEO $400k, who is one of the highest paid transit person in the state of CA.

To put their CEO’s wage in perspective:  Mike Scanlon pulled in 59% more in wages than the median salary of CEO’s for 23 of CA’s largest transit operations.  Yet Mr. Scanlon oversee’s Caltrain, SamTrans and San Mateo County Transportation Authority and these three organizations, added together, amount to the average size of a transit system in CA.

Caltrain’s public response is that “Good personnel come at a high price.”

I guess my question is, if he’s so good, why is Caltrain so far in a hole?  I’m just curious.

[The Daily News,  2-8-11 edition, front page]

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