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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain OKs FY2015 operating budget

Caltrain's board last week adopted a $125.7 million operating budget for fiscal-year 2015, about $5 million more than FY2014's budget.

The budget is balanced, and requires no service cuts or fare increases, Caltrain officials said in a press release. It does depend on one-time-only funds to achieve the balance, as has been the case for Caltrain budgets in recent years, they said.

The most significant source of one-time-only funds for FY2015 is a result of historic growth in ridership, which led to record-setting farebox revenue, Caltrain officials said. However, such growth cannot be relied upon as a sustainable, dependable source of revenue year after year. Should Caltrain's ridership growth slow, farebox returns would begin to normalize, agency officials said.

Fares cover $75 million of the projected operating revenue; income from shuttles, parking, grants and other sources make up $18.1 million; member agency contributions cover another $19.8 million; and the remaining $12.8 million is covered by using surplus farebox revenue from FY2013 and FY2014.

The city and county of San Francisco will contribute $5.2 million, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will contribute $8.4 million and the San Mateo County Transit District will provide $6.3 million. Each agency’s contribution is based on a formula derived from the average weekday number of boardings that take place in each county.

The board has not yet adopted Caltrain's proposed $109.1 million capital budget, which would cover improvements, a modernization program and maintaining a state of good repair.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/9/2014