Tuesday, October 07, 2008

CalTrain's Funding Problems in a Nutshell

A letter in the Oct 6th Murky News:

My husband and I are in our 60's and anticipate a time when we will no longer want to or be able to drive to San Francisco for the theater, symphony, shopping or even to the airport. In his article outlining why he will oppose the BART tax Scott Herhold (Page 1B, Oct. 5) gives many good reasons why other forms of transportation will get the job done more efficiently and with less capital outlay. However, there is one flaw in Mr. Herhold's argument. The bullet train currently only runs during the commute hours. It does not run in the late morning, early afternoon, at night or on the weekends. Therefore, during non-commute hours it will take significantly longer to get to San Francisco than it would on BART. If Caltrain would add bullet train runs on weekends and during non-commute hours, I would consider voting "no" on measure B. Otherwise, I still think it makes more sense to circle the bay with BART.

Susan Gutterman, San Jose

So since CalTrain is underfunded and can't provide the service you want... give money to BART instead?

CalTrain seems perpetually stuck in a vicious circle of being underfunded, operating a somewhat scrappy service, and therefore not being taken seriously, putting it last on the list for better funding!

Yeah, it's just one letter from one individual, but I think it's pretty representative of the views of so-called transportation experts in the Bay Area too.


Yokota Fritz said...

Does Susan really believe taking BART up the East Bay is faster than Caltrain? During the off-peak times she mentions in her letter, it can take up to two hours to travel from Fremont BART to (for example) Union Square.

She mentions flying out of SFO -- if she wants to catch an early morning flight on the weekend, she won't get to the airport with BART (or Caltrain) unless she likes sleeping in the terminal.

The people who support Measure B -- do any of them actually use transit?

Peter said...

Caltrain could definitely be great.

BART is a dog. i can't believe how long it takes to go just a few stops. i don't recall any other subway in any city being that slow, save maybe for Boston. maybe.

YM said...

I have once asked to Caltrain officials about express servise on weekend in public meeting. The reason why they don't operate express on weekend is mainly due to construction (single tracking) for electrification. May be Caltain want to see increasing weekend ridership within current capacity. They seems don't want to creating new ridership by adding express servece. Very disapointing.

murphstahoe said...

Words fail. Brutal. This is worse than the currently ridiculous thread on the SVBC list.