Local Caltrain service stays on trackBy Lindsay Bryant
Caltrain sent a news release Monday stating they will ask the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board of Directors to continue service to Gilroy "at least until next July."
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. Eliminating weekend service is also an option.
"Based on estimates of the potential cost savings and input from our customers, we would like to preserve these two important services at least until the beginning of the next fiscal year," Caltrain Executive Director Michael Scanlon said.
The cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill are going full-steam ahead with the position on eliminating Caltrain service to South County: Don't do it.
Gilroy Mayor Al Pinheiro said a letter is in the works to deliver with city representation to the Caltrain board in a scheduled public hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Caltrain office, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos.
Morgan Hill 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 and speak at the public hearing.
"We have the same concerns (as Morgan Hill). We have invested a lot of money into our downtown," Pinheiro said. "It's very important that folks can hop on the train, live here in Gilroy and take the train to the Valley."
The Morgan Hill letter asks Caltrain consider fare increases and service reductions in other areas, such as the weekend or midday service in San Jose.
Pinheiro added eliminating the service to South County could wreck the ridership numbers.
"It will be harder to get them to hop back on the train. We certainly expect Caltrain not to eliminate the service," Pinheiro said Monday.
Copyright ©2010 Hollister Free Lance. Published 08/31/2010.