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SoMa Supe Fights to Save Caltrain

11:35 AM PDT on July 20, 2020

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney made it clear he's going to do everything he can to save a proposed Caltrain funding measure and get it on the November ballot. From the source:

Streetsblog readers will recall that at this week's Board of Supervisors meeting, a key motion was supposed to be made to refer the November ballot measure to committee. It seems opponents of the measure on the Board, Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Shamann Walton, maneuvered to keep that procedural step under wraps until a key deadline passed.

Haney confirmed, however, that he's calling for a special meeting and vote of the full board of Supervisors on the matter. "We NEED Caltrain, it’s not optional. Ensuring Caltrain survives this crisis and implementing the service improvements allowing for us to triple Caltrain ridership, getting countless cars off the road, are essential," Haney tweeted.

"I am introducing the resolution on Tuesday. The decision to hold a special board meeting is made by the Board President, he and his staff are aware I’ve made this request. Then ultimately the vote requires a majority," he also wrote, adding that "I believe we can still make this happen."

Meanwhile, Bay Area transit advocates fighting to save Caltrain are trying to get Haney as much backing as they can. Be sure to check out Friend's of Caltrain's action page. And email board president Norman Yee and ask that the Caltrain vote move forward.

A look at the ongoing electrification that would help allow Caltrain to have BART-level frequencies--if the tax is approved. Photo: Christof Spieler
A look at the ongoing electrification that would help allow Caltrain to have BART-level frequencies--if the tax is approved. Photo: Christof Spieler

"Caltrain must evolve into an affordable, high frequency line seamlessly integrated into a multi-modal system. To do this we must provide it stable funding so it survives coronavirus," wrote Seamless Bay Area as part of an excellent thread on the regional importance of Caltrain. However, just like Haney, they acknowledge that there is also a need to "fix governance so it is accountable to a Bay Area transit network manager."

But if they really think the tax is not the way forward, they should make that case in good faith. After all, they only have to convince a third + 1 of the voters not to support the measure.

As advocate Skip Pile tweeted above (in a response to Peskin), let the voters decide.

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