January 10, 2011 Meeting
Reported by Chris Flescher, Associate Director
CITIZENS FOR RAIL CALIFORNIA, INC.
A California Non-Profit Corporation (#813820 4/26/1977)
d..b.a. The Rail Passenger Association of California & Nevada
NOTICE OF 2011 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
The annual membership meeting of CITIZENS FOR RAIL CALIFORNIA, INC. will take place on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. at the board room at the headquarters building of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority located at 1 Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, California (adjacent to Los Angeles union Passenger Terminal). It will be immediately followed by a meeting of the corporation’s newly board of directors.
1. REVISION OF BY-LAW SECTION 5 “TERM:” It is proposed that by-law Section 5 “term” be revised. The section now reads as follows“Directors shall be elected to a term of one (1) year, by the members. The term of office of each newly elected director shall commence at the Annual Meeting.”
It is proposed that Section 5 be revised as follows: “With the exception of directors elected in 2011, all directors shall be elected to a term of three (3) years, by the members. The term of office of each newly elected director shall commence at the Annual Meeting. For the terms commencing at the 2011 Annual Meeting, five of the elected directors shall serve a term of one (1) year, five shall serve a term of two (2) years and five shall serve a term of three (3) years. The duration of each newly elected director’s term shall be determined by lot. The outgoing president/chairperson of the board of directors of the corporation shall serve as the presiding officer of the Annual Membership Meeting, the subsequent Board of Directors meeting until new officers are elected, and determine the method of lot or chance used to select the duration of the terms of the newly directors.”
2. ELECTION OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Pursuant to the corporation’s amended by-laws, each officer and director serves a one-year term.(amendment of 4/17/10) Elections are held by members attending the “Annual Meeting.” Individuals may hold any office for as many times as the board members chose. To be eligible to serve as a director, a candidate for the board of directors must be a member of the organization for at least six months.
The corporation’s amended bylaws provide that the members of the board of directors, shall be elected by the general membership at the annual meeting. There are currently fifteen (15) members of the board of directors, the maximum allowed. A board resolution authorizes the appointment of associate directors, who are essentially advisory in nature. They not corporate directors and serve two-year terms.
The official corporate address is 1017 “L” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-3805. The group’s purpose is a civic organization operated for educational purposes, The number of members/non-members is less than 5,000. The mailing address is 1017 “L” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-3805.
The terms of the following incumbent directors (with their home towns noted) are expiring. Additional candidates for director may be nominated or nominate themselves at the annual meeting.
Once the annual membership meeting is concluded and adjourned, the newly elected directors will assemble and by majority vote elect officers for 2011-2012.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING, March 19, 2011,
The following incumbent directors have expressed a willingness to serve an additional term as corporate officers.
The board of directors then will consider reappoint the following associate directors to a two-year term:
Note (3) Associated directors Anthony Lee (Florida & California) and Russ Jackson (Dallas, Texas) serve until 2012.
Editorial by Noel T. Braymer
Our own Art Lloyd and Bruce Jenkins are interviewed by KCBS!
To say that the situation regarding passenger rail financing and policy making is fluid would be an understatement. Looking back over thirty years of advocacy I find it hard to recall a time when passenger trains were such an ideological issue. But I won’t get into a political discussion in this forum. Instead let’s think about knowledge and education. Let’s start with a question. Do those that are vehemently against funds for passenger trains know what they are talking about? Do they understand the economics of rail versus other modes? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
The answer? RailPAC, NARP, and all the other advocacy groups have not done enough. It’s plain to see that our small efforts, carried out by volunteers in their free time, are easily overshadowed by well oiled propaganda machines of the many lobbyists and factions that think differently to us. We haven’t had the time and resources to educate elected officials and other opinion formers about the benefits of a passenger rail network.
What is to be done? We have to grow. We have to recruit more members, we have to strengthen our list of industry sponsors, we have to MAKE MORE NOISE.
The first step is for you, our core group of members, to attend our annual meeting and learn from the experts we have gathered together. Where do we stand with state funding? What are Amtrak’s and Metrolink’s plans? How can NARP be more effective in Washington? What is really happening with the high speed rail program? How can RailPAC make a difference?
It’s up to you. If you really care about passenger rail services in California and throughout the country then stand up and be counted. Come to Los Angeles March 19th, support our event, help elect the new Board, raise some funds for our work, meet like minded folks and go away energized for what will be a tough year not just to advance our agenda but to hold on to the progress we have made these past two decades.
See you there!
Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA
(Download: January 2011 Performance Report)
The Capitol Corridor achieved amazing performance results for January 2011. Ridership in January soared a remarkable 11 percent compared to January 2010. A record-breaking 130,863 passengers rode Capitol Corridor trains, making January 2011 ridership and revenue thresholds the highest January results in the history of the service. Along with the double-digit spike in ridership, revenue rose 13 percent compared to the same period last year. Finally, the Capitol Corridor’s on-time performance (OTP) was 97 percent—keeping us number one for OTP in the nation.
It’s notable that this was a month when the Capitol Corridor wasn’t offering any special deals or seasonal discounts. It was simply a period when Northern Californians ditched their cars and rode our trains instead. Our two-year hold on the national OTP top spot has helped to convince drivers that the Capitol Corridor is a reliable, convenient, cost-effective and stress-free way to travel between Auburn and San Jose and a viable, green alternative to driving alone. Once we begin our strong advertising campaign and popular discount offers this spring and summer, ridership and revenue will continue to show favorable results this year.
We are certainly grateful to UPRR, our host railroad for its continued reliable dispatching. We are also relieved that we began 2011 with a significant reduction of trespasser incidents along our corridor as well as reduced bridge and mechanical-related delays.
Also in January, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) received good news from the California Transportation Commission (CTC). After years of looking for funding the CCJPA is steps closer to securing wireless internet service on our system. The CTC approved use of the $3.75 million in cost savings from CCJPA’s track upgrades in Emeryville towards installing a high-quality, wireless network on intercity passenger trains. This decision benefits both the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin services as both systems share rail fleets (locomotives and passenger coaches). The shared fleet will be equipped to provide free wifi service for passengers as well as secure a platform to transmit and receive wireless communications to support “e-Ticketing,” credit card authorization, on-board passenger information systems and security camera transmission.
Because free wireless is a top amenity requested by passengers, we expect even more customers once the service is launched, which will be rolled-out by the end of this calendar year.
Capitol Corridor (January 2011):
Pacific Surfliners (January 2011):
San Joaquin (January 2011):
. . . Photos and Comments by Russ Jackson
. . . On January 10 Governor Brown introduced his proposed budget for FY 2010-11. While major reductions are in store for “everyone,” that does not apply to the state rail corridor intercity rail operations. $90,247,027 is exactly the same amount as the last three years. So, no growth in that allocation, but no cut in the funds the program receives from taxes on diesel sales. As one commentator said, “It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.” Other rail operations are not so lucky in their funding sources, however.
Caltrain is one and faces a huge cut that could leave a reduction from 86 to 48 daily trains, no weekend service, no service south of San Jose, no game-time trains to AT&T Park, and closing seven stations. Caltrain is subsidized solely by San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties. A “Save our Caltrain” group has organized, and RailPAC is supporting it. (See separate stories.) If ever there was a transportation system that works it is Caltrain, taking so many people off Highway 101 every day!
The Friends of Caltrain attracted an overflow crowd of 200 grassroots community and business groups and residents to our Caltrain Summit a little over a week ago. Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Sierra Club national executive director Michael Brune came to keynote.
RailPAC donated a generous $500 towards its small budget: thank you so much. You really made it possible for us to offer a pizza lunch so people could stay for the break-out sessions until we adjourned at 2:30. We have worked closely with SVLG and Stanford who also organized a great policy leader summit the week before.
Since then, Caltrain as you know has scheduled hearings to potentially halve its service to peak-hour only, potentially cutting service to many stations as well as reduce early morning/late evening trains when many Silicon Valley workers commute in this 24/7 economy.
Many have been galvanized this last week: over 1000 residents have sent emails to their representatives on their county transit agency asking them to work together with MTC to work on short term and long term solutions.
Santa Clara VTA has quickly responded with a board memo last Thursday outlining some viable options for the coming year, the most promising of which are:
There are probably other short-term solutions that only MTC can help orchestrate, but it will take the political support of all the local elected officials, residents, and commuters to push for this one-year stopgap measure to avert Caltrain crisis for one more year, then to design and put some type of permanent and dedicated funding to the voters.
The Friends Summit is being cablecast this Sunday at 10:30 on Channel 27, I understand, and more information is on the website, friendsofcaltrain.com for people who want to take some action to “save our Caltrain!”
Thank you all for your support!
Former Mayor of Palo Alto
Friends of Caltrain
Two very successful “summit meetings” were held on the San Francisco Peninsuls in January to address the fiscal crisis of Caltrain. Caltrain is the only transit system in the state of California that does not have a dedicated funding source for it’s operating costs. In all it’s operating years it has relied on the largess of the transit authorities of the three counties San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara. This year all three counties are unable to commit the operating funds that Caltrain requires. Although Caltrain has a 48% farebox return (one of the highest of all transit systems) it will still be $30 million shy to operate the present schedule after July , 2011.
The first summit meeting was held on the Stanford University Campus January 21st under the auspices of “The Silicon Valley Leadership Group” (SVLG). The SVLG is comprised of most of the high tech firms in the Silicon Valley The SVLG organized the effort to identify and implement solutions to Caltrain’s fiscal challenge. The meeting was very well attended by over 200 participants including mayors, state and assembly members, environmentalists, scholars, citizens and transit advocates. Congresswomen Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speire spoke via a video link.
The second summit was held on January 29th at the SAMTRANS auditorium in San Carlos under the auspices of the Grassroots Organization “Friends of Caltrain”. This group consists of citizens, riders, environmentalists, transit advocates (e.g. RailPAC, Bay Rail Alliance etc). Attendance was phenominal (standing room only). Congresswomen Jackie Speire was the keynote speaker. State Assemblyman Jerry Hill also spoke as did Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierrea Club, Saen Elsbernd, Chair of the Caltrain Joint Powers Board and RailPAC Vice President (North) Art Lloyd gave very enlightening talk on the history of the commuter rail on The Peninsula dating back to 1851. The event was well covered by the media e.g. The San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, KCBS TV and KQED (PBS). After the speeches and two panel sessions with questions and answers there was a break for lunch followed by breakout group sessions and brain storming for solutions.
These two meetings have been successful in making the public aware of the “treasure” of Caltrain and its importance to The Bay Area not only to the individual but to employers and to the dire need to save it. However, the work is not done yet. The Grassroots effort will continue with letter writing, buttonholing elected state and local officials and holding more meetings.
For more visit the blog: www.greencaltrain.com
PHOTO report by Russ Jackson At the right is the Sunset Limited ready to depart LAUS on February 4, 2011, the date of all 7 photos in this report. In the background is the MTA tower, site of the RailPAC-NARP meeting on March 19. While visiting the train station for the meeting, be sure to check out the various new places to eat inside, as well as some old standbys and one not yet to be. To accommodate the new “eateries” the Hertz and Budget rental car stands have moved next to the Amtrak ticket windows.
Now let’s look at what is there.