Caltrain Governance Compromise Advances

Caltrain’s Board of Directors approved a new Governance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a special meeting today. The MOU establishes a permanent, separate Executive Director position for the agency, as well as five Caltrain-specific direct reports, while the San Mateo County Transit District (District) will be repaid for its initial investment in Caltrain.

“This agreement allows us to move forward as a united Caltrain,” said Caltrain Board Chair Steve Heminger. “With electrification around the corner and ridership returning to the system, we can now turn our full attention to delivering quality rail service to the people of the Bay Area.”

Under this new agreement, the new Executive Director will report directly to the Caltrain Board of Directors, rather than the District’s General Manager/CEO. Five new positions have been created that will report directly to the Executive Director. The District will be repaid ($19.8M) for its initial investment in Caltrain, along with additional resources ($15.2M) for the delay in payment of the $19.8M and the District’s agreement to assign some of its rights as managing agency to Caltrain.  The District will relinquish certain real property interests related to Caltrain and will continue to provide it with shared services.  

The SamTrans Board of Directors voted to accept the MOU on Tuesday, June 21. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has scheduled a vote for Tuesday, July 19, with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voting on Tuesday, July 26. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has scheduled a vote for Thursday, August 4.


About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with commute service to Gilroy. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad has provided the community with more than 150 years of continuous passenger service. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.

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