San Mateo County Transit District Logo  

TA Logo
Caltrain logo
SamTrans logo
Peninsula Transportation Insider
In This Issue
Governor's Budget Reviewed
Caltrain Holds Public Meetings
The Future of El Camino Real

Commuter Tax Benefits Remain in Question
Take Action Logo 

Just before the holidays, 

Congress reached an agreement to extend certain tax benefits, like the payroll tax cut.  Unfortunately, the extension of full pre-tax transit commuter benefits was not included in that package.


This means that on January 1, the monthly benefit available to eligible transit users was reduced to $125, while the parking tax benefit for drivers was actually increased by $10 to $240 per month.


In effect, transit users got a tax increase, while automobile drivers continue to enjoy the tax credit.


Unless it is corrected in future legislation, the cut in transit commuter benefits will result in a $550 yearly tax increase on transit riders who utilize the benefit and will put more cars on the road by disproportionately rewarding many commuters who drive to work.


New tax extension legislation will need to be considered again before the end of February, and by contacting Congress you can encourage them to restore the full commuter tax benefit in the next extension.  Recently, Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) pledged to stand with transit riders andmake the commuter benefit levels permanently on par with driving tax benefits.


If you support these efforts, please visit Commuter Benefits Work For Usfor details on how you can help.

SamTrans Passengers Embrace Clipper Card

It takes a lot of careful planning and coordination to transition passengers from a traditional paper monthly pass system to an altogether new fare medium.
But SamTrans passengers are making the switch to the Clipper� card seamlessly, thanks to broad outreach and communications efforts being made by the District's Office of Marketing and Customer Service. 


Since launching the card at the start of 2011, SamTrans riders have already recorded more than 576,000 weekday boardings.   A substantial number when compared to other Bay Area transit agencies who introduced the card on or before 2011. 


If you need more information regarding the Clipper� card visit us HERE.

Quick Links

Join SamTrans on Facebook!
Like us on Facebook

Join Caltrain on Facebook!

Like us on Facebook 


Follow us on Twitter @SamTrans_News and @Caltrain_News


:: 650-508-7934
January 2012
Happy New Year and Gung Hay Fat Choy from the Peninsula Transportation Insider, an e-newsletter delivering critical legislative, project and public transportation analysis.  We'd like you to join this conversation by following  Caltrain and SamTrans on facebook or emailing us directly with thoughts, questions and concerns about peninsula transportation. 
Governor's Budget Released
Governor Brown hailed this budget as a significant milestone in trimming down the state's ongoing deficit.  The two-year budget (FY 2011-12 and FY 2012-13) carries a $9.2 billion shortfall in the current spending plan.  


Fortunately, the Governor's suggestions for closing the gap don't impact state transit assistance program funding.  But the budget assumes the passage of the Governor's proposed sales tax ballot initiative.  Should that fail to pass, it could trigger a series of cuts, some of which could have implications for transportation funding.  


Funding programmed for capital infrastructure improvements remains in question.  Funding for improvements to the state's rail systems, including Caltrain, has been vetoed during the last two budget cycles after being approved by the Legislature. To ensure that these funds are retained in the next budget, please contact the Governor's Office and ask him to include Proposition 1A connectivity funding in his budget to improve the State's rail systems.

Caltrain to Host Public Meetings  


In February, Caltrain's Board will host a public hearing to discuss changes to the codified tariff.  The tariff is the system, adopted by the JPB, to govern the structure and costs of fares. 


These changes are being proposed as part of the ongoing implementation of the regional Clipper� card system.  They also are proposed to eliminate inequity in the way certain fare media have been discounted in past practice.

Proposals include:Caltrain Baby Bullet Locomotive

  • Increasing the cost of paper, not Clipper�, one-way and zone upgrades by 25 cents and day passes by 50 cents.
  • Eliminating the 8-ride ticket, due to discount inequity.
  • Lengthening the sales period for monthly passes and parking permits to the 15th of the month.
  • Go Pass program changes.


Clipper customers will not receive a fare increase - these changes can be avoided by switching to Clipper.


Tonight and tomorrow, we will hold public meetings in various parts of the Bay Area.  Click HERE for further information and meeting details. 


The JPB will hold a public hearing on Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. at its administrative headquarters, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA 94403.


Comments can be submitted in writing by emailing


The Future of El Camino Real


For the six years, a coalition of cities, developers, labor, environmentalists, business, community interests and state and regional transportation agencies have been redefining El Camino Real, The King's Highway. 


The vision is to create a road worthy of true royalty as one of the main arteries connecting the entire Peninsula and spanning three counties. The group follows a set of guiding principles that support housing, commercial and job growth along the arterial combined with strategic decisions that create a walkable, activated streetscape and encourage public spaces and public transit usage.  For more on the guiding principles go HERE.

 Menlo Park ECR Vision

It's a big vision, but one that is reflected in a number of award-winning projects throughout the Peninsula.  One such project is the city of Menlo Park's vision plan that reimagines how El Camino and the Caltrain corridor can be tied together with public space and streets that are inviting for window shopping and friendly gatherings. 


Education and outreach on Grand Boulevard's vision and concepts are being done through small group discussions and town hall style meetings, called "Walk the Talk" forums.  The next will be held in Menlo Park on Jan. 26 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church Social Hall. 

To get involved with GBI or to become a Friend of Grand Boulevard, check out the website and sign up for more information!

In the News

The New York Times is making the case for authorizing a new Surface Transportation Bill as an engine for job creation. 


Sonoma County is implementing car charging stations as part of its long term sustainability plan.


The San Jose Mercury News is supporting VTA's plan to increase collaboration with Caltrans.