Viewpoint - May 5, 2010

Letter: Counties need to step up for Caltrain

If Caltrain service is eliminated or severely cut, it will cost millions of dollars in lost business revenue, as well as lost sales and other taxes. The region cannot afford to lose the jobs Caltrain provides.

The loss of Caltrain service will lead to fewer people attending events at HP Pavilion, the San Jose convention center, AT&T Park, Moscone Center, performing arts centers from San Jose to San Francisco, festivals in every city on the train line. This will cost jobs at the venues and surrounding businesses, resulting in losses in the tax revenue these businesses generate and the jobs they provide.

Caltrain serves Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties. All three counties must provide emergency short-term funding to maintain Caltrain service. The Joint Powers Board (JPB) that manages Caltrain must work with the counties to find the funding now and begin creating a dedicated funding source. Other transportation agencies such as VTA, AC Transit, BART, and SamTrans have dedicated sales or property tax funding to support their operations. Caltrain must have permanent funding as well.

We need to keep this vital link between Gilroy and San Francisco intact and operating at a level that meets the needs of our community.

Bob Mack, San Jose


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