City asks Caltrain not to eliminate serviceBy Lindsay Bryant
The city of Morgan Hill is going full-steam ahead with its position on eliminating Caltrain service to South County: Don't do it.
Mayor Steve Tate was authorized Wednesday night to sign a letter on behalf of the city and its riders to send to the Caltrain Board of Directors.
Tate plans to do one better. He said he will hand deliver the letter and speak at a scheduled Sept. 2 public hearing in San Carlos.
"It's imperative to have a face there," Councilwoman Marby Lee said.
Caltrain is trying to close a $2.3 million budget deficit and the waning ridership in South County has put the service from the Tamien station in San Jose to Gilroy on the docket for elimination.
The city points to the importance of access to Caltrain to maintaining the goals of Morgan Hill's general plan "to provide a balanced transportation system which assures access to all." Plans for a new streetscape on Monterey Road in downtown will not be "fully realized" according to the city due to the reliance on the transit component and the city's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
The letter asks that Caltrain consider fare increases and service reductions in other areas, such as the weekend or midday service in San Jose.
Tate suspected that Gilroy Mayor Al Pinheiro would also send a letter asking Caltrain to not reduce service to South County, though the Gilroy council is on vacation this week.
"Let's make that case and let's make it loud. Let's make it clear, so we can set the groundwork for next year (when the budget deficit is likely worse)," Councilman Greg Sellers said.
The public hearing on the Caltrain budget is scheduled at the Sept. 2 board meeting, 10 a.m. at the Caltrain office, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos.
Proposed service reductions
- Suspend all weekend service
- Reduce weekday early morning, midday and/or late evening services
- Suspend all service south of Tamien station to Gilroy
- Discontinue staffed ticket offices
- Increase the full fare one-way base or zone fares by 25 cents, with corresponding changes to related fare media
- Increase Go Pass price to $155
- Modify parking fees and regulations
Changes would go into effect between October 2010 and January 2011.
Copyright ©2010 Morgan Hill Times. Published 08/27/2010.