Caltrain budget to run off the rails

If 25-cent fare increases and reduced service on the weekdays seem bad, just wait till next year.

That was the message delivered Thursday by Caltrain Executive Director Mike Scanlon, who said this year’s $2.3 million budget deficit pales in comparison to the $30 million shortfall projected for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

To make up this year’s $2.3 million deficit, the agency is considering a combination of as-yet-undetermined fare increases and service reductions. A final budget plan is expected to come next month.

With customer feedback strongly against proposals to eliminate weekend service and service to Gilroy, Caltrain has taken those options off the table for this year, but they could very well return next year, Scanlon said at the agency’s board of directors meeting Thursday.

“These will be the good old days compared to what we will face in July,” said Scanlon. “We are talking about no special service, no weekend service, no late-night service, no midday service and no service to Gilroy. We are only putting off for a matter of months the day of reckoning.”

Caltrain, which has a $99 million budget, has been hurt by dwindling ridership numbers and state funding cuts. However, the biggest blow has come from drastically decreased allocations from its three transit partner agencies — Muni, SamTrans and the Valley Transportation Authority. Collectively, those operators slashed their contributions to Caltrain from $39 million to $25 million this year.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsbudgetCaltrainLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

CCSF file photo
Workforce development fund to support training programs at City College

Supervisors back plans to use $500K toward economic recovery efforts through CCSF

Toilet (Shutterstock)
Table salt and poop: Testing for COVID-19 in S.F. sewage

The City’s sewers could provide an early warning of fresh outbreaks

Lakeshore Elementary School was closed in March shortly before SFUSD closed all schools due to coronavirus concerns. The district is now working to prepare all elementary schools to reopen by mid-January.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
School district preparing buildings for hybrid learning

SFUSD plans to use 72 elementary schools and 12 early education sites for first phase of reopening

The installation “Alexandre Singh: A Gothic Tale” is on view at the Legion of Honor, which reopens Oct. 30 with safety protocols in place. (Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Legion of Honor reopens in time for Halloween

‘A Gothic Tale’ among exhibitions on view

Most Read