Proposed 2012 Caltrain schedule

Read it and weep. The fiscal year begins July 1.

Summary: One train every 15 minutes from 5:45 AM to 8:30 AM, and in the evenings between 3:45 and 6:30 PM (6:30!!). No bullets. 70 minutes for every trip between San Jose and San Francisco (give or take a minute).

Dan and Murph are discussing the implications of this schedule for bike riders. With the reduced train service, Murph anticipates constant bumps since we’ll have fewer trains to ride. If you’re bumped from that last train, you’re stuck.

Since Caltrain only plans to run 48 trains (instead of their current schedule of 94), Murph points out they’ll likely stick with Bombardier only sets, which have a maximum capacity of 48 bikes (vs up to 96 bikes on some “old style” gallery sets).

In a recent board meeting, VTA had some proposals of their own to help with Caltrain funding issues precipitated by SamTrans funding shortfall.

  • There’s currently about $5.5 million set aside each year for the Dumbarton Rail project. It would take a change in state law, but VTA would like to use that for Caltrain operational expenses, especially since MTC effectively killed the Dumbarton Rail project in favor of BART to Warm Springs.
  • VTA says they happen to have $7.1 million laying around that they could give to SamTrans, if SamTrans pledges to use it for Caltrain operations.
  • VTA says Caltrain is a priority for Santa Clara County, and they’re talking about increasing their contribution to keep south county stations open.

The bugbear, though, is our regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which allocated half a billion dollars to bore another highway tunnel to failing bedroom developments in Contra Costa County, over a quarter billion to redo the I-280/I-880/SR17 interchange, $6.3 billion for a new Bay Bridge, $350 million for new tunnels to bypass Devil’s Slide on Hwy 1, and tens of millions for Doyle Drive; and which doles out peanuts for Bay Area transit. We don’t need new taxes to support public transportation; we need a re-alignment of transportation spending priorities.

4 Comments

  • February 10, 2011 - 1:59 am | Permalink

    48 and 96 bikes. Nice. Metra trains hold about 18 and 0 during rush periods.
    http://stevevance.net/metra/

  • February 10, 2011 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t even live there and I’m weeping. That schedule sounds awful.

    We may not have bike cars on Metra, but at least we still have service…

  • t1
    February 11, 2011 - 1:19 am | Permalink

    “The bugbear, though, is our regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which allocated half a billion dollars to bore another highway tunnel to failing bedroom developments in Contra Costa County”
    ——————–
    I see, those of us who live in the failing bedroom community of Orinda (18 miles from SF) unfairly received government largess that should be directed towards funding the commute into SF from San Jose 45 miles away.

    I’m not sure why any sane person who needs to work in San Francisco would choose to live 50 miles away in San Jose nor am I sure why such people believe their absurd commute deserves a subsidy.

  • February 11, 2011 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I think the argument is whether an 18-mile road is more efficient, more cost-effective, and serves a greater number of people than a 45-mile train.

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