Is Caltrain On The Rails to Recovery? Hope So [Consumer Hopes]

by on April 28, 2011

in consumer

CaltrainFor the moment, as of a week prior to this article, there’s a plan afoot that will keep all eighty-six Caltrain vehicles in motion, and as the text of the article says, keep all Caltrain stations open. (ZEJN92D67ZW4)

This will come with another dig into the consumer wallets with a 25 cent fare increase and an additional $1 tacked on to the daily parking fee.† That, and an additional boost of operating funds from the MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) that will add up to another $3.5 million.

This is only a stop-gap, being that this is a one-time deal and it’s been urged that Caltrain needs to find a dedicated funding source to stay alive. It’s been suggested that like other rail-transit systems in the United States, that Caltrain look at dedicated sources such as revenue from state sales taxes, rental car taxes and car leasing taxes.

In the newspaper article I was reading (The Daily News, 4-22-11, Section A) they said riders were glad the closures were staved off.

All this came a day or so after a suggestion was announced on how to keep the high speed rail project plans in-play without the huge imminent domain grab that would have taken place, or the giant raised rail that would have been a visual blight to behold.† That suggestion was to share the existent Caltrain tracks in place.

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This is just a stopgap and I hope folks recognize that.† I’ve found it amazing that when we were first faced with bullet train opposition, how suddenly, the Caltrain financial issues came to the forefront and services have, since then already been reduced and or cut.† But now that we have what seems like a viable option on the table for keeping the bullet train plan in-place, we suddenly have a stop-gap measure to keep the Caltrain system in-play.

I’m sure it’s just peculiar timing, but I’m just saying.

On sharing the tracks, here’s a press bit:

From Caltrain’s press release:

“Caltrain is preparing to conduct a series of feasibility studies to determine whether the electrification and modernization of the commuter rail system can be designed and constructed to meet Caltrainís future operational needs, while also accommodating initial high-speed rail operations on the Peninsula corridor.”

[losaltos.patch.com]

Side Observation

Has anyone else noticed how the guy that had the most defensive and nastiest attitudes towards the opponents of the bullet train plan, Quentin Kopp, had stepped down recently and then started also attacking the HSR (High Speed Rail) commission?† Sounds like he’s getting ready to run for a public office and is playing to the masses.† Not a bad move.† The masses seem to forget & forgive rather quickly these days.

Let’s not forget that this $43+ billion project was approved by the taxpayers, but then, it was falsely pitched to the voters as a $9 billion project.

For now, there seems to be a middle-ground that everyone is eyeballing from afar.† I hope for the sake of all involved, this kind of cooperation continues to move forward.† Weird how talking to the people actually helps, versus Kopp’s previous method of telling us it didn’t matter what we thought.

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