Caltrain’s Board of Directors unanimously approved its operating and capital budgets for Fiscal Year 2018 at the rail agency’s monthly board meeting on Thursday.
The $148.2 million operating budget approved by the Board includes $20.5 million in funding contributions 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, and approximately $18 million in reserves to cover expenses in FY2018. The board will hold a public hearing in July regarding proposed fare increases that would, if approved, reduce the amount of reserves that would be needed to fully fund the budget.
Caltrain’s operating budget does not include a dedicated source of funding and over the years, the rail agency has had to rely on reserves to help balance its budget. Farebox revenue makes up approximately 71 percent of the budget. Caltrain continues 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 years of record-setting ridership growth.
Caltrain’s $64.9 million capital budget will be funded through a combination of federal, regional and state grants, along with $5 million contributions from each of its partner agencies.
The Caltrain capital budget covers long-term infrastructure improvement and maintenance projects. For the next fiscal year, the capital budget will pay for State of Good Repair projects, such as stations and intermodal access, right of way signals and communications and rolling stock.
The capital budget also includes funding for the upcoming Napoleon Bridge Street Replacement Project and the Burlingame Grade Separation Project.
The 2018 Fiscal Year begins on July 1.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain enjoyed five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the system, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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