You stated that contributions from counties (for example, San Francisco) “cannot necessarily be relied upon as a county in financial peril can decide it cannot afford its fair share.” San Francisco has a budget of $13 billion to cover seven square miles and recently doled out raises to its employees in the middle of this pandemic. It is one of the richest counties in the United States from a revenue per capita standpoint and benefits financially directly from Caltrain commuters. So the conclusion is — San Francisco can’t afford to fund Caltrain it but citizens who have had no work income for months and have none in the foreseeable due to the pandemic — and who don’t use Caltrain — CAN afford it? This makes little sense and no one should be asking low and no income citizens to fund Caltrain.
Secondly is this notion that the tax is also needed to “expand operations.” Let’s be very clear — with the advent of work from home, particularly in tech, and — despite what it might tell us, Caltrain has no idea whatsoever what its future ridership looks like. To ask for money from anybody for expansion is premature and ill-serves Peninsula citizens.