We are a small but scrappy community of volunteer grassroots advocates dreaming and acting to bring about a better world. Sales Tax increases cause major harm to residents with low incomes who due to racism and the high cost of education have the least opportunities for career advancement and who are least able to shoulder the burden of paying for upgrades to Caltrain service.
Caltrain/SamTrans/SMCTA has also demonstrated over decades incapable of spending taxpayer money wisely, dumping billions of dollars into endless highway traffic capacity expansion projects such as widening Highway 101 in San Mateo County from 8 to 10 lanes to install new toll lanes, at a cost of over $500 million. The agency has long failed to even create written plans for funding and operating world class bus and rail transit systems, and has bungled all manner of improvement projects ranging from Wi-Fi (still isn’t available) to electronic BikeLink lockers (Caltrain has still never installed any).
Caltrain/SamTrans/SMCTA also retains an outdated and fundamentally flawed governance structure based on Boards of Directors members appointed by committees of other elected officials, rather than being directly elected by The People as the BART and AC Transit Boards of Directors are.
We do not oppose improvements to Caltrain service. However we oppose funding these improvements with yet another Sales Tax increase which disproportionately burdens residents with low incomes and which does nothing to reform Caltrain’s dysfunctional policies and practices.
A tax on corporations or landowners to pay for future Caltrain service improvements along with specific reforms of the agency would be acceptable.