SAN FRANCISCO— On Friday, August 7, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an eighth-cent sales tax measure for the upcoming November election that will help fund Caltrain.
According to Daniel Montes of KTVU, if two-thirds of voters in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties approve this measure in November, the sales-tax would be able to generate $108 million annually. Caltrain needs this annual flow of income to stay afloat and continue operating as their ridership has gone down these past few months due to less people having to commute to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors accepted a tax measure written by Supervisor Shaman Walton last week that called for Caltrain to change its governance by separating from the San Mateo County Transportation District. San Mateo County Officials opposed this first measure due to the additional condition it warranted. In response, officials from the three counties agreed to amend the measure, making it only focused on the tax.
Regarding the governance issues in the original measure, they were instead presented as recommendations to the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board that oversees Caltrain’s operations.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors were the last political body to approve this measure, following other political groups like the Santa Clara and San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor Walton tweeted, “Yesterday we passed a resolution at the SF BOS to place a tax measure on the November ballot to fund Caltrain. All JPB member counties onboard. The measures success will provide Caltrain with its first dedicated funding source. Let’s make history for this vital regional railroad.”
If approved in the election, Caltrain may start getting the funds by April, 2021.