As a lifelong San Mateo County resident, I cannot imagine a Peninsula without Caltrain. Before the pandemic struck, Caltrain was taking more than 60,000 weekday riders (and their cars) a day off our congested highways. Almost all of us think of our local commuter rail fondly — whether we used it to commute to work, go cheer on the Giants or for a weekend outing. The pandemic has decimated public transit nationally and Caltrain is feeling the effects deeply. Ridership has decreased by almost 95%. But we know the pandemic will end, as will this current work from home revolution (I’m old enough to have lived through several).
When normal returns — and it will — what do we want our world to look like? Do we want to return to highways packed with cars sitting idle increasing greenhouse gasses and decreasing qualify of life for drivers stuck inside? I know I certainly don’t. That’s why I’m supporting Measure RR which not only gives Caltrain a lifeline to survive these uncertain times, but helps catapult the agency forward to a future when it can carry more than 150,000 riders a day. Times filled with great challenges often also provide great opportunities. Join me in seizing this one: Vote yes on Measure RR.
The letter writer is the Belmont vice mayor and serves on the SamTrans and Caltrain board. Views his own.