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July-August 2002
YES! I support improving Caltrain and Regional Transit!
I support BayRail Alliance's efforts to promote a regional transit system by upgrading Caltrain and extending it to
downtown San Francisco, improving connections between buses, trains, and other transit modes, and establishing
a High Speed Rail system connecting the Bay Area and Southern California.
I am enclosing a contribution to help fund BayRail Alliance's programs.
___ $35 Regular
___ $50 Sponsor
___ $100 Patron
___ $250 President's Club
___ $ ________ Other
___ $15 Student/low income
We are supported entirely by member contributions. Voting memberships start at $15 or
$35, as applicable. As we engage in lobbying, dues are not tax-deductible at this time.
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Address: ____________________________________________________________
City: _____________________________________ State: ______ Zip: __________
Phone (Day): _______________________ Phone (Evening): ____________________
Email: ______________________________________________________________
I can help by:
Calling or writing local public
officials when you tell me about
important transportation issues.
Volunteering two hours a month (or
Mail to the address listed on the
back, or contact us toll free at:
New member
Renewal of membership
, from page 1]
Electrification, estimated to cost as much
as $600 million, would increase train speed,
improve air quality, and allow trains to operate
underground to the proposed new Transbay
Terminal in downtown San Francisco.
Electrification and the downtown San
Francisco extension have been two of the main
goals for BayRail Alliance since the group's
inception as Peninsula Rail 2000 in 1982.
VTA stated that the agency would not
make funding available for Caltrain
electrification until at least the year 2012,
while giving other projects higher priority
for funding from Measure A. Santa Clara
County voters in November 2000 approved
Measure A, a half cent sales tax to be
collected for 30 years starting in 2006.
Caltrain advocates chastised VTA for
forgetting that Caltrain serves more
communities in Santa Clara County than VTA
Light Rail or the proposed BART extension,
and argued that VTA's arbitrarily-determined
priorities made it a poor regional partner.
"Measure A never listed any priorities,"
pointed out BayRail vice president Andy
Chow at the June 6 meeting.
"An attack on electrification is a direct
attack on the Caltrain system," said Vaughn
Wolfe, a BayRail Alliance member and a
director of Rail Passengers Association of
JPB members from other counties also
found VTA's proposition to cut electrification
unacceptable. At the JPB meeting, Caltrain
staff offered the JPB two alternatives on the
capital budget - one with funding for
electrification, and one without. During the
board discussion, Steve Schmidt, a JPB
member from San Mateo County who strongly
supports Caltrain, vowed that he would not
support any plan that did not include
electrification. San Francisco JPB member
Sophie Maxwell expressed San Francisco's
willingness to consider lending money to VTA
so that electrification can go forward.
Ken Yeager, a Santa Clara County JPB
member, in response to criticism from the
public and JPB members from San Francisco
and San Mateo counties, proposed to delay
the vote on the capital budget for one month
to work towards resolving the issue. After
adding a language to remove the non-
electrification alternative from further
consideration, members of the JPB then
unanimously voted to delay the vote on the
capital budget.
A few weeks after the decision by JPB,
Caltrain staff identified possible funding from
MTC for VTA to keep electrification on track.
BayRail Alliance urges Caltrain supporters to
write to the VTA board and to the JPB to
approve the capital budget with electrification,
as well as to speak out at the JPB meeting on
July 11. "It is important to show our support
for Caltrain and send a message to VTA that
Caltrain electrification must be a priority in
Santa Clara County," said Chow.
What can you do?
1. Attend and speak out at the JPB meeting
on July 11, see back page for details.
2. Write or call the VTA board. Visit for board member
contact information.
VTA Attempts to Put Brakes on Electrification