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February 28, 2014

Comments

hillsider

Is there any news on the accounting irregulaities?

fred

This electrification will close all grade crossings except at Broadway. Goodbye Oak Grove, West Lane, Howard, Bayswater and Peninsula crossings.

pat giorni

Download and READ the document:
http://www.caltrain.com/projectsplans/CaltrainModernization/Modernization/PeninsulaCorridorElectrificationProject/PCEP_DEIR_2014.html

Make your written comments to the JPB before April 29 because bitching here on the Voice doesn't do any good.

Comments may be submitted in the following ways:
Submit written comments: At a public meeting:

Caltrain Office: 2nd Floor Auditorium, 150 Carlos Ave., San Carlos
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | 6pm - 8pm

Redwood City Main Library: 1044 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 | 6pm - 8pm

San Jose Main Library: 150 E San Fernando St, San Jose
Monday, April 7, 2014 | 6pm - 8pm

UCSF Mission Bay Genentech Hall Room N114: 600 16th St, San Francisco
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | 6pm - 8pm
____________________
Email: electrificiation@caltrain.com, with the subject line "Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project"

Mail: Caltrain
Attn: Stacy Cocke, Senior Planner
1250 San Carlos Ave.
P.O. Box 3006
San Carlos, CA 94070

Joanne

Caltrain is already tearing out trees in San Mateo to reconstruct the old railroad trussles. Go take a look there once the trees are gone to get a better idea of how a barren landscape will look without trees.

Joe

I will bet the accounting investigation will take months and even then may not be public information right away. These things have a way of bogging down unless there is a smoking gun. We will know that is the case if someone "retires" like the head of the IRS division just did.

Joe

Here is an informative article about Caltrain ridership and other aspects of the line:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/continued-caltrain-growth-could-depend-on-system-improvements/Content?oid=2733279

It does have the usual out of date slant where it says:

Electrification, which should receive its final environmental impact report by the end of this year, is being made possible through funds from the state’s high-speed rail project that will eventually run between Northern and Southern California. Caltrain and high-speed rail will operate in a blended system.

Without money from high-speed rail, according to Diridon, funding for electrification would not be available “for many, many years, if at all.”

That whole quote should be prefaced by "The plan to siphon money from high-speed rail to do the blended system is part of the reason the high-speed rail funding is in jeopardy from lawsuits that are gaining traction in court".

jennifer

Caltrain Electrification (and its impacts) will be presented by Caltrain in our Council meeting, Monday, March 16th, 7pm- early in the evening (Item 6b).

Joe

You must mean tomorrow, March 17th (not 16th). Very appropriate since many people will be in our local pubs celebrating St. Patrick's Day....anyone who thinks HSR money is imminent should have a double.

jennifer

Yes, my bad. Thanks--

Joe

Here is a budget update from the DJ.


Caltrain’s Board of Directors Thursday adopted its a balanced operating budget which requires no cuts in service and no fare increases, according to the transit agency.

The budget depends on one-time-only funds to achieve balance, as has been the case for Caltrain budgets the last several years. Caltrain still must address a structural deficit that leaves the agency vulnerable in years of ridership decline or economic downturn, according to the transit agency.

Ridership growth is contributing to record-setting farebox revenue and its $125.7 million operating budget allows Caltrain to retain current service levels. Fares cover $75 million of the projected operating revenue; income from shuttles, parking, grants and other sources make up $18.1 million; member agency contributions cover another $19.8 million; the remaining $12.8 million is covered by using surplus farebox revenue from Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014, according to the transit agency.

According to the budget, the city and county of San Francisco will contribute $5.2 million, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will contribute $8.4 million and the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) will contribute $6.3 million, according to the transit agency.

Caltrain has not adopted its proposed $109.1 million capital budget. The capital budget covers the costs of improvements driven by federal and legal mandates, Caltrain Modernization and keeping the railroad in a state of good repair, according to the transit agency.


http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2014-06-06/caltrain-adopts-balanced-operating-budget/1776425124477.html

pat giorni

The FEIR has been released at http://www.caltrain.com/about/news/Caltrain_Releases_Peninsula_Corridor_Electrification_Project_Final_Environmental_Impact_Report.html

There will be no other opportunity to voice your objections to the document other than attending the Jan. 8 JPB Board meeting, 10:00am in San Carlos to give public comment when the Board may act to move approval of the FEIR. If there are enough Barbarians at the gate, the Board can opt to send it back to be tweaked.
Be aware that snail or emailed letters are ineffective as the Board rarely reads the Correspondence File. What is more effective if you want to voice specific objection is to prepare a written comment, make 10 copies to be distributed at the meeting, then tailor your comment to a single point and include that you're giving them a fuller explanation in your handout. Don't waste time on pleasantries up front because you're on the clock w/ your 1st word. Put all your credentials on the speaker card.

Even if the Chair limits speakers to 1 minute, hopefully there will be enough of us to keep them well past noon, when, if they lose the quorum, they have to table and continue the item to the Feb. meeting. Buying time is what it's all about.

Jennifer

Thanks for posting Pat. From those who know a lot more about this topic than I...

Caltrain is trying to exempt itself (either from its linkage to HSR or the weak link to Union Pacific freight) from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the most important environmental protection law for the state and certainly for Peninsula communities. Why would we let OUR representatives on the JPB do this to our communities?

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