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March 14, 2018


Bruce Dickinson

Joe, this caught Bruce Dickinson's eye right after you posted and my accounting team and I were doing some BD Enterprises, LLC tax planning and I had one of my guys (actually was a gal) take a quick look and the numbers above actually understate the losses! That's right, Linda dowloaded the financials pointed out to yours truly that over 3 years, Cal-Train burned through a HALF BILLION DOLLARS in cash, which is for those counting zeroes, is $500,000,000 dollars. That is $167 million dollars per year, with 2017 burning through $207 million dollars in cash alone.

Now, as you pointed out, a significant amount of money is used to upgrade track, maintain and purchase rolling stock, signal systems, etc, but guess what a dollar lost is a dollar lost. This money pit is funded by Federal and State/Local/Agency capital and operating grants and guess what else? DEBT! That's right, even your favorite transportation agency is sucking on the teat of financial crack cocaine (like most Americans, quite frankly). There are fare box bonds as well as bank credit lines that Cal-Train uses to fund its operating losses and capital spending.

While Bruce Dickinson will concede that most public transportation systems will not operate at a profit, the Cal-Train cash burn rate is pretty bad and will only get worse as more expensive capital needs to be maintained and replaced.

Folks, while Burlingame has the "Mighty Eucs" it is not Money Tree City USA and as Joe adeptly states, get ready for both higher explicit and implicit taxes funding transportation boondoggles.....just as you spend more money for your next new autonomous electric car!


I guess LimeBikes are a better use of public subsidies. Where is the Grand Jury when we need it?


LimeBikes gathers credit card info, maps spending habits and gps coordinates and is a giant sponge of where healthy people go locally and what they do. Data goldmine!

Any PR about getting people out of cars or environmental concerns is too precious...

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