Why save Caltrain – in your words

Hundreds of you are signing the petition to MTC to encourage them to drive a short-term solution to save Caltrain!
It’s making a difference. If you haven’t yet, sign it here and if you have, tell your friends by email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Most of you have added fantastic comments about how you depend on Caltrain, and how the region depends on Caltrain. People write about how if Caltrain slashed service they would need to move or buy a car. People who are young, old, and disabled write about how they depend on Caltrain to get around. People write about with concern about traffic congestion and pollution.

Here’s just a short sampling of comments, and the full list is here.

Dianne Willoughby
Our family loves having Caltrain as a non-auto option to get up and down the peninsula and we use it often. Most importantly to our family, our 16 year old son rides the train from Burlingame to Palo Alto every single night of the week. He’s been riding the train to sports practice every weeknight since he was 11 years old, and I cannot tell you how great this has been for our family. It has saved us from using countless gallons of gas, kept us off the road at rush hour, and given both our sons an unquantifiable sense of independence. We will be devastated if Caltrain service is cut!

Stephen Hamilton
We moved to Burlingame precisely because there was a viable commute system to SF. Caltrain is the backbone of this city and adds immeasurably to the real estate values here. Taking it away (closing BGame station) will simply speed up the overall closure of the rail system to the detriment of our city, our way of life and our environment. How can we contemplate spending billions on a train from Bakersfield to Fresno and yet be prepared to let this viable system die?

Jim Ganz
Commuting to San Jose would be an absolute nightmare without Caltrain.

Kerri Belluomini
Caltrain is valuable to be because I use the train as a form of transportation to an from my job at Genentech, Inc. Having a stop is valuable to the community, as it enables local residents to access the train, taking cars off 101 and it contributes to our safety. If each train was a bullet train, increased casualties could ensue. Already Caltrain only stops in Burlingame once an hour. I think this restriction is reasonable any less than once an hour would make commuting challenging.

David Thacker
I take Caltrain to work and reducing service to Broadway and Burlingame stations will make this impossible.

Paul Heft
Mass transit is such an important part of our strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!

Sally Mentzer
Caltrain enables me to walk just 15 minutes, take the train, and a shuttle at Palo Alto to Stanford keeping me from driving, preventing pollution and even helping me make new friends (Iparticularly other Stanford employees. It is a most important part of the environmental focus of our area and would be such a loss to so many of us.

Matthew IzzI
I’m a law student at Santa Clara University living in San Jose. I moved here in August, 2010 and have relied on caltrain since. I take the train to San Francisco every weekend, and at various times during any given week for events, panels and clinics. I took it during the world series with a group of friends that didn’t want to go to civil procedure that day. I personally know 8 other law students and two professors using the train. and while I can’t speak to the regular use of undgrads, I can only imagine it’s similar or proportionally higher. Cutting the Santa Clara station would effectively eliminate a valuable source of income; students will not drive or take a cab to Diridon. Fans attending the Earthquakes games, played at the University, will be forced to find an alternative, if one exists. Public transportation is a vital component of a local economy. The cost of owning, maintaining, and running a personal vehicle can be particularly onerous for those on a fixed or lower income.

Anne Mostad-Jensen
Caltrain is invaluable to me. I am a law student and do not have a car. It always me to get into San Francisco for events that I need to be at. I live in San Jose and go to school at Santa Clara University, so I love the ability to get on the train at the Santa Clara station and get off at the San Jose station. This is even nicer when I am able to bring my bike on board! If I didn’t have these options I would have to buy a car, which would be a greater expense both to myself and to the environment.

Scott Idiart
Caltrain allows me to visit family on the Peninsula or enjoy a day in San Francisco without the hassle of traffic or parking, all while knowing that I there will be enough trains running so that I will be able to get home safely at the end of the day.

Michael Sardina
I rely upon the Santa Clara Cal Train station for work, for school, and for social outings around the Bay Area. To allow this station to cease operation would be detrimental to Santa Clara, and it would truly be a travesty to many students and residents of Santa Clara.

Meghan Hennessey
I take the Caltrain to and from San Francisco weekly. I also have taken it from San Francisco to school every day last year. It was crucial to my education and the environment. Please keep Caltrain in Santa Clara!

Stacy Osborn
As a student at Santa Clara University, Caltrain’s location is not only a reason I chose the school, it is also an incredibly convenient means to get to and from the city and around the south bay. In addition, I learn to appreciate public transportation and to use it more often.

Heidi Beck
I take Caltrain to commute to my part-time job at Stanford. I depend on midday trains. Traffic on 101 and 280 is already horrible during commute hours — Caltrain takes MANY people off the road. The roads can’t take any more commuters — 101 and 280 need Caltrain! Companies need Caltrain. Stanford, for instance, has about half its employees take alternative transportation, and many of them take Caltrain. There isn’t room on the roads around campus for all these commuters, and certainly not enough parking on campus. I’m sure it’s the same for Google and Facebook, etc. Caltrain is valuable to the community and to the economy of the region.

Anita Stewart
We ride to SF regularly, love the convenience (we can walk to the station). We are trying to reduce use of gas/oil – taking the train is one way. Reducing service will increase use of cars. If you have to close any station, can you provide regular small shuttle service from that station to the next one (so we could still walk to our station, catch a shuttle to a larger one).

M Nelson
I do not own a car and must travel from SF to SJ to Monterey every week. My only option (and one that I love) is to take Caltrain to connect with Monterey-Salinas transit in San Jose. If Caltrain cuts it’s service so I cannot make this connection, I will be forced to buy a car and most reluctantly add to congestion, pollution and my stress levels. If service cuts are unavoidable, it is critical to me that connections with MST are still available. Please take that into consideration. And I love having the baby bullet train on weekends! It makes for such an easy way for a weekend getaway. Please keep it. I encourage all my friends to use Caltrain. If service is cut, they will totally rule it out as a viable option to their cars. It will certainly decrease ridership rather than increase it. And once it’s cut, it will likely never be restored. What a loss for everyone.

James Flagg
I am moving to Burlingame in April, and a big factor in selecting Burlingame was the convenience of the CalTrain station. Please consider the effects of closing train stations – more cars on the road means more congestion, pollution, and road maintenance costs. Please try to think outside the box and work with the municipalities and agencies in the affected areas. Perhaps Burlingame and the other affected towns would be willing to increase ridership by establishing some kind of commute-hour shuttle service to and from the train station.

Mary Beth Train
I use CalTrain to get to work and to a tutoring program for East San Jose high school students. I can no longer see to drive after dark. Without CalTrain, I’m grounded. There will only be more seniors like me, who will need this service. Actually the Bay Area needs to have its public transportation fiscally and politically coordinated. The population is forecasted to increase, fuel costs to increase, so building a public transit infrastructure is vital, for there is a limit to freeway expansion and maintenance. Thanks!

Laura Kusumoto
Caltrain is an essential element of our daily lives. Without it, my husband and I would have to make a major investment in money (buying a second car) and time (sitting in traffic). We share one automobile because my husband uses Caltrain (and BART) to commute to work. His commute fares are subsidized by his employer. We are deeply concerned about the impact of service cuts not only on our personal lifestyle and household budget, but on the economic recovery of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area generally. The Caltrain schedule already places limitations on my husband’s work schedule. For example, if he works late, he faces a long wait time for the next evening train. Further cuts in evening service could strand him at the office. Even so, our worst fear is that service cuts will make Caltrain so inconvenient to so many people that it will be on a “death spiral”. We encourage the MTC to consider changing the funding agreements for Caltrain so that one transportation district’s shortfalls cannot have such a profound effect on the citizens and employers of the entire Peninsula and San Francisco. Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.

Christine Hertzog
Caltrain is a regular source of transportation for me to San Francisco. I see it filled with commuters with destinations along the Peninsula and Silicon Valley. It has an important role in enabling “in-fill” of nearby lots into mixed use commercial and residential building, which reduces urban and suburban sprawl. Please do everything you can to save it and expand its operations. Thank you.

Roland Lebrun
Caltrain is extremely valuable to me even though I am retired. I use it frequently to make trips to San Francisco, Stanford, Palo Alto and Burlingame.

Ada Glucksman
Caltrain keeps my commute costs at an affordable level. Cuts in service will not allow me the flexibility in my work schedule which in turn will cost me more in child care. I need Caltrain to maintain its level of service.

Connor Gilbert
I am a Stanford student, and I take Caltrain to San Francisco and to both San Jose and San Francisco airports. I do not have a car, and neither do many of my friends, so Caltrain is an essential way for us to move about the region. Help us stay connected with our wonderful surroundings without putting another vehicle on the already-congested roads.

Nina Koepcke
I am 75 and depend upon Caltrain for trips to San Francisco and up the Peninsula. The mid-morning and Tamien cutbacks severely affected my lifestyle as I had to give up a variety of trips that I previously took including to classes and concerts that I formerly attended.

Eric KneelandCaltrain is my only way to work! Please save the train, we don’t need any more gridlock on the roads!! Thanks!

Emily Hunter 94002 If Caltrain makes its proposed service changes, specifically the 7 station closures and the nighttime service cuts, my household will no longer be able to ride Caltrain. This will NOT be a temporary change– this will be a LIFE-ALTERING adjustment. We will be forced to buy a second car, and we will NEVER have an opportunity to commute to our jobs by public transportation again. I don’t think MTA or the JPB realize the irreparable damage they will cause if they go through with these service cuts– or if they even consider them. Not only will they lose customers (easily 2/3 of their customer base will be affected by these cuts), but more seriously, they will disrupt people’s lives: lives that Caltrain riders planned specifically for train transportation. I can say with complete confidence– and I know the MTA has to admit this themselves– that if these cuts are made, Caltrain will be forced into bankruptcy, and the service will die– there is no turning back. PLEASE, for Caltrain and its vital customer base alike, do EVERYTHING possible to avoid enacting ANY of these service cuts. The Bay Area cannot afford such a drastic, horrific step backward.

Doug DeLong
Please do not add to the already congested traffic on peninsula roads by making drastic cuts to Caltrain service. Please support peninsula communities that have made committments to TOD developments by continuing to serve the stations near those developments. Please contintue to provide viable transit options to special events like Giants home games and Bay to Breakers by continuning Caltrain mid-day, evening, and weekend service. Please don’t contribute to increased GHG emissions and highway deaths and injuries by drasticly cutting Caltrain service.

Damon Wytcherley
I ride Caltrain daily from Tamien station to Redwood City. I started taking the train about 6 years ago when I couldn’t handle the commute any longer. Now the thought of going back to that commute which will be much worse if Caltrain shuts down and puts all of us commuters back on the Freeway is intolerable. Please use your abilities to find a solution to this problem.

Janet Goldenstein
I currently take Caltrain daily from San Mateo to Sunnyvale for work. Because of Caltrain my husband and I only need one car and we purposely rented our current apartment because it is within walking distance of Caltrain. If Caltrain was dramatically reduced it would require enormous personal and financial changes. We would have to move apartments and buy a second car. It would mean that I would have to drive to work and battle traffic everyday. I hate driving so this would definitely put a strain on me and cause stress. We pay very high taxes and use very little public services, but Caltrain we use daily. Please do all you can to keep Caltrain running.

Sherrill Ingalls
I take Caltrain to work in San Jose on a daily basis. I do not drive a car and rely on Caltrain and other public transportation. The nature of my job requires nights and occassional weekends, as well as regular meetings on the peninsula. Dramatic reductions is Caltrain service would severely hurt my ability to work in my current position,

Andrew Bachmann
I ride to work on the Caltrain nearly every weekday. Caltrain keeps a lot of cars off the roads, and in some cases even allows people to get by without a car at all. The roads are going to get more crowded and the air dirtier if Caltrain service is reduced.

Nancy Peterson
I wouldn’t be able to continue in my job if I had to drive to work every day!!!

Danika Patrick
I survive with a low-impact green life by taking the Caltrain to work everyday, and using less than a tank of gas a month. If I had to drive it would be 80 miles each way every day. Id hate to bring this toxic wasteful lifestyle to the bay area, my community and the environment.