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Caltrain signs off on FY2017 capital, operating budgets

Caltrain's board on Thursday approved a $146.4 million operating budget and a $250.9 million capital budget for fiscal year 2017 starting July 1.

The operating budget includes $20.4 million from Caltrain's three partners: the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans), the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and the city and county of San Francisco. Reserves were used to balance the FY2017 budget, as has been the case over the past several years, Caltrain officials said in a press release.

Farebox revenue makes up about 60 percent of Caltrain's operating budget, which doesn't include a dedicated source of funding. The remaining operating costs are made up through contributions from the three partner agencies and farebox proceeds that came in above projections from the previous year, according to Caltrain.

The San Francisco-area commuter railroad is continuing to explore alternatives to address its ongoing structural deficit.

"Without dedicated funding or increased member contributions, Caltrain will not be able to operate existing service levels, despite more than five consecutive years of record-setting ridership growth," Caltrain officials said.

Meanwhile, the railroad's capital budget is funded through a combination of federal, regional and state grants, along with $5 million contributions from each of its partner agencies. This budget includes funding for the Caltrain Modernization Program, which calls for electrifying the railroad by 2020.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/3/2016