It’s January 11, 2011, and an emergency meeting is held with 200 grassroots and grasstops leaders from throughout the region, gathered together for the express purpose to save and strengthen Caltrain. Budget issues and a bad economy threatened service on the venerable train, in continuous operation since Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States. The Caltrain Joint Powers Board was faced with slashing 50 percent of the service to keep the train in operation. The Leadership Group stepped forward to rally the region to save the train, in partnership with Congressmembers Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo and a host of public, private and non-profit leaders. Eight Town Halls from San Francisco to Gilroy were held, along with extensive polling to determine if Caltrain might secure a dedicated, permanent source of revenues for its operations.
Through belt-tightening and a slightly better economy, the worst of the service cuts were avoided.