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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain approves FY2020 operating, capital budgets


Caltrain’s board last week adopted a $155.7 million operating budget and a $47.4 million capital budget for fiscal-year 2020, which begins July 1. 

The operating budget includes $106 million in farebox revenue and $29.9 million in funds from the San Mateo County Transit District, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the city and county of San Francisco.

All agency revenue is not sufficient to meet projected expenses, Caltrain officials said in a press release. Since the operating budget does not include a dedicated source of funding, Caltrain will tap $1.1 million from its revenue stabilization fund to balance the budget, they said.

Caltrain is exploring other ways to address an ongoing structural deficit. For example, in the coming months the board will consider a proposal calling for a sales tax.

Without dedicated funding or continued increased member contributions, Caltrain will not be able to operate at existing service levels, nor could it meet the ridership projections laid out in the Caltrain business plan, agency officials said.

Caltrain’s $47.4 million capital budget will be funded through federal, regional and state grants, as well as $7.5 million from each of its partner agencies.

The capital budget covers maintenance on stations and intermodal access, right of way signals and communications and rolling stock. Also, the budget includes additional funding for a bridge replacement along the Guadalupe River in San Jose, the rehabilitation of San Francisco’s Marin Street and Napoleon Avenue Bridge and the general state of good repair for the system at large.