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Caltrain approves FY2010 capital budget, late summer service cuts

Caltrain’s board recently adopted an $82.3 million capital budget for fiscal-year 2010, and approved a plan to implement fee and service changes in late summer to close a $2.6 million budget gap.

Beginning Sept. 1, the agency will eliminate eight mid-day trains between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to save about $1.93 million. In addition, parking fees will increase from $2 per day and $20 per month to $3 and $30, respectively, generating an additional $420,000. Caltrain also will hike the price of an annual employer-sponsored Go Pass from $112.75 to $140 per person beginning Aug. 1 to increase revenue by $263,000.

A preliminary operating budget presented to the board in May included a $10.1 million deficit.

“In the past we have been able to close the budget gap with one-time funds, but those days are over,” said Caltrain Executive Director Mike Scanlon in a prepared statement. “We have run out of options.”

Meanwhile, the FY2010 capital budget provides funds to continue several projects aimed at bringing Caltrain to a state of good repair. The projects include renovations to San Jose Diridon Station; communications and signal system upgrades; train dispatching software upgrades; rolling stock component replacements; and design work for two rail bridge replacements and a grade separation.

However, the budget doesn’t include funds for electrification or a number of Caltrain 2025 program projects. The agency plans to seek funding for those projects through high-speed rail appropriations under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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More News from 7/7/2009