Please help us with an urgent call to action to save Caltrain from shutdown.
Caltrain is a critical component of the Bay Area’s public transportation network. It must continue to operate for those who most need it - essential workers, and people needing to travel for basic needs who cannot afford to or are unable to drive - who are using it right now. We also need it to emerge strong after the pandemic for the Bay Area to have an inclusive future with more homes and less car pollution and car dependency.
On Wednesday, Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Shamann Walton on the SF Board of Supervisors blocked a proposed Caltrain funding measure from appearing on the ballot in November by failing to introduce it to the Board. Polls have indicated the ⅛ cent sales tax would stand a strong chance of passing, yet these two supervisors opposed it in an apparent dispute over Caltrain governance and funding mechanisms, with little warning for stakeholders in the rest of the Bay Area. Without this funding, the financial hardship imposed by COVID-19 could shut Caltrain permanently as it has no dedicated funding source, unlike other Bay Area agencies. Particularly given the $2 billion investment in electrifying the corridor, as well as Caltrain’s impressive equity proposals, it is critical that we insist our politicians preserve our regional transit infrastructure.
To advance the ballot measure, the SF Board of Supervisors now would need to pass an urgency ordinance, requiring a ⅔ majority. Please email the Board President Norman Yee at Norman.Yee@sfgov.org and cc Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org, Shamann.Walton@sfgov.org, and your own district supervisor (if you live in San Francisco), or use this email tool we put together with SF YIMBY and SF HAC to contact the entire board demanding that they move the measure forward and let voters decide the future of Caltrain. Thanks to the people who have already called and emailed: members of the Board including Supervisor Matt Haney are listening and may take action, but we need to keep up our encouragement to make sure we get the votes for this.
Please continue to follow our friends at Green Caltrain for updates, and see their blog post and call to action with additional background.