Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of the Menlo Park: Park Forest neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Iíll make this as simple as I can.
We residents and citizens on the Peninsula should support an effective public mass transit commuter service which we need.
However, there has been a lot of mismanagement at Caltrain. Their staff is top-heavy and overpaid. Why should the Caltrain CEO make as much salary as the President of the United States?
Therefore, before we tax ourselves to cover Caltrainís operating budget subsidies we need to demand they meet certain conditions:
1.We want an independent audit from Caltrain; a complete examination of their books.
2. We also want an independent management consulting firm that specializes in urban and regional mass transit to analyze and assess their organization and management structure, with recommendations for updating, especially for their financing.
3. We want to see a revised strategic plan from Caltrain conceived without high-speed rail participation. Also, especially under the current circumstances, we want a termination of the MOU agreement between Caltrain and the Rail Authority. There's no longer a reason for it.
4. We need them to drop their electrification obsession. DEMUs (see Wikipedia) will do almost the same job as electrification and EMUs, but for a great deal less capital development investment. It's our money and we want it spent wisely.
5. We want a complete restructuring of the non-functional, rubber-stamp JPB. We want elected representation from each and every city on the Caltrain corridor on such an expanded Board. And we want this Board empowered with greater decision-making, accountability and oversight authority.
6. We want a break-up of the several layers and overlapping organizations led by a single CEO. Too many pies, with only one and the same finger in them all. It reeks of multiple conflicts of interest. (Mike Scanlon, Executive director of the San Mateo County Transportation Authority and as the general manager/CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District. CEO of Caltrain. Board chair for the American Public Transportation Association.) That's a shell game and conflict of interest.
7. We want an airtight Caltrain agreement that they will not admit any other rail operators (besides UPRR and themselves) on the rail corridor without the concurrence of ALL the corridor cities.