Caltrain partners approve 3-county governance agreement

On August 5, the VTA board gave the last of the needed partner agency approvals to the 3-county agreement to modernize Caltrain’s governance. The agreement gives Caltrain a full-time executive director reporting to the Caltrain board, several new senior staff focusing on rail, and an explicit service agreement for the shared administrative services that will continue to be provided by SamTrans. And the agreement provides long-deferred repayment to SamTrans for the money it put forward to purchase the right of way back in the 1990s.

The agreement will enable Caltrain’s board and staff to focus on the urgent issues of fully funding and finishing the electrification project, and dealing with the coming budget challenges as federal Covid relief funding runs out.

The agreement also opens the door for Caltrain to participate actively in regional planning around regional coordination of rail and the transit system. Results and recommendations from studies about regional transit network management and regional rail are expected to surface for discussions this fall .