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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-501-7864.