Meeting on Caltrain funding tonight in Palo Alto

'Save Caltrain' organizers will solicit ideas from public on long-term funding of rail line

The Peninsula's commuter-rail service was recently spared cutbacks, thanks to one-time revenue, but Caltrain's long-term financial viability remains an open question.

A meeting tonight at the Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel, hosted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the City of Palo Alto, will address potential dedicated and sustainable funding sources for Caltrain as well as gather ideas and feedback on potential solutions.

The meeting, from 6-8 p.m., will involve presentations and discussion by Caltrain staff and members of the Leadership Group. Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss, Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa and Palo Alto City Councilman Larry Klein will also be on hand. Members of the public will form small groups to brainstorm and discuss funding ideas.

Last week, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which oversees the cash-strapped transit agency, voted 5-3 to retain its 86-train weekly schedule. The budget plan depends largely on one-time revenues to balance the books in fiscal year 2012.

The approved plan assumes the agency will close its projected $3.5 million budget deficit through a contribution from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), a regional planning agency.

This is the third consecutive year that the Caltrain board declared a fiscal emergency.

The Leadership Group has made Caltrain's viability a priority for its organization this year, devoting six months of staff support to its "Save Caltrain" initiative.

"Losing Caltrain service would cripple our regional transportational system and economy, limiting mobility and employment options," the group states on its website.

The agenda for the meeting is posted here.

More information is available from Eric Stroker at or 408-501-7864.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Shut-It-Down
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Here's some feedback--Shut Caltrain down! It's a black hole that sucks every taxpayer dollar it can, and provides very little back in terms of adding to the economy of the Silicon Valley.

This is another failed exercise in social engineering.

Like this comment
Posted by Failure-not
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I don't think the blind girl who can't get to work any other way would agree with you.

Like this comment
Posted by Enough
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:51 am

Everyone will win if Caltrain gets shot down. Lives will be saved.

Like this comment
Posted by Nice to See
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

glad to see some support for closing caltrain. thought I was the only one to feel this way. high speed rail (or cars for that matter) right down the middle of a town makes no sense. it brings no economic value to Palo Alto or any other community between san jose and san francisco. there are other cheaper and safer ways to get Palo Altons to work who need assistance.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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