Bay Area transit faces financial cliff – opportunities for federal funding and Caltrain ballot measure

At last week’s Bay Area Transit Recovery Task Force, regional stakeholders faced a daunting picture showing that the Bay Area’s transit agencies will run out of funding before the end of the year while the pandemic continues to suppress ridership and tax revenues.

You can help – Congress will be debating more pandemic relief funding this summer. Click here to tell your representatives that public transportation needs to be included in federal Covid relief to keep transit running during the pandemic and support and economic recovery.

Caltrain’s finances are among the most fragile, because it has no dedicated funding source, relies heavily on fares, and draws its public funding from partner agencies with budget troubles. 

On Thursday at a meeting starting at 9am, the Caltrain board will start to consider a November ballot measure, based on surprisingly strong poll results.  This funding would enable Caltrain to survive the pandemic, and help run faster and more frequent service when electrification is complete.  

The Caltrain board will make its decision in August. Send your thoughts to board@caltrain.com (feel free to copy us at friends@friendsofcaltrain.com). 

San Francisco and Santa Clara County still need to vote to allow Caltrain to put the measure on the ballot, with key votes on July 21 and July 24.  Stay tuned for blog posts on these upcoming votes.