« Bike Improvements | Main | Real Estate Recovery? »

March 30, 2010



According to this article http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=16323

Caltrain is losing money and one of the factors is reduced ridership. How doees this jibe with HSR assertion that ridership will increase? Also, with 9 billion $ sitting there, why not forget about HSR and completely revamp inter-city commuting? Just a thought.

pat giorni


Diridon leads bad transit plan parade

Dear Editor: Daily, we hear more and more about transportation. Caltrain is going bankrupt, the VTAis running empty, city bus rides are getting more expensive, Muni is out of money.

California planners are (dare I say this?) stupid. Since 1965, when they had the chance to work smart, they chose to work in the most glaringly deficient way possible. The reasons: a) BART could have circled the Bay, providing workable transportation for millions of residents when it was first constructed. But Santa Clara and San Mateo counties stated emphatically that the future of California was the automobile and BART wasn’t welcome. Only today, 45 years later, is BART honestly being considered for inclusion into San Jose.

b) Caltrain is absolutely underfunded, losing more than $30 million a year. All the other transit agencies receive substantial portions of their revenue from sales tax. Caltrain gets nothing, not a stinking dime from sales taxes. Yet 56,000 people a day ride Caltrain between San Jose and San Francisco. Add in the Gilroy riders and the number gets even bigger. Caltrain is within an inch of shutting down. Wouldn’t it be fun to put all those people in cars on the freeways?

c) Rod Diridon pushed for the stupendously costly and inefficient VTA light rail system in San Jose. The windows in the VTAcars were blacked out two years ago so folks wouldn’t see how many people ride the rail. How many? Practically no one at all. Hey Rod, nice job. But light rail gets 45 percent of its budget from sales tax revenue so it’s fiscally OK for now.

d) Diridon also pushed for huge, double-length buses which are almost never full. There are now some new, small buses operating along some routes, similar to the Marguerite shuttle at Stanford, which is a good idea. No matter though, the fare keeps going up on the bus.

e) A5- to 10-cent gas tax increase would make a huge difference in state transportation revenues. But every single senator and legislator is scared to even bring it up. The brief time our gas prices hit $5 a gallon the number of cars on the roadways plummeted. Our carbon footprint shrunk. That was a very good thing. What would happen if the difference between today’s gas costs and $5 a gallon was actually a tax? Would that help?

f) Diridon also wants to put in a high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles. He estimates it will cost no more then $42 billion. Most economists think it will cost at least three times that. Ridership, Diridon claims, will be stupendous, but most folks think it’ll be minimal, with some trains running at less then 10 percent capacity.

I’m 200 percent behind good, smart public transportation.

It needs to be extremely cheap to encourage people to use it.

Car and bicycle parking at public transportation sites needs to be substantial, and free, to encourage its use. Parking lots and stations need to be kept clean and well lighted.

Public transportation should be heavily financed by gasoline taxes. I support a $2-per-gallon state tax, preferably used entirely for infrastructure rebuilding and repairs and for good, smart public transportation.

I’ve got a job for Diridon— at Starbucks.

James Thurber, Mountain View

Mr. Slate

I wouldn't drink that latte. It would be all foam and cost about $12.50 or more depending on future numbers.

I say we use the HSR money and dig BART underground all the way to San Jose (or Gilroy) at a fraction of the cost. Then we build a huge park where the tracks are now. Not only keep the Euc's, we plant more!!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.