Op-Ed urging independent funding for Caltrain

The plan includes a vision of how electrified service levels should grow over the next 20 years. It includes an estimated 5.5 lanes worth of commuter traffic onto Caltrain instead of Peninsula highways. Train frequency would grow from five trains per hour to 12 per hour, with an express train every 15 minutes. Approximately $9 billion would be devoted to grade separations so that traffic would continue to flow in our cities while service is expanded. By 2040, Caltrain ridership would triple to 180,000 daily riders, eliminating 825,000 car trips and 110 metric tons of carbon emissions every day.

Today, Caltrain is the only transit system in the region without a dedicated source of funding. It depends on contributions from local member agencies to keep the system running. Those contributions are not enough to support the system’s needs, and they will never be enough to grow Caltrain service in the future. A reliable funding source must be secured.