Leadership Group Applauds Senator Hill as SB 797, to Greatly Increase Caltrain Capacity, Clears One More Hurdle in the Senate

SAN JOSE, CA – In an overwhelming eight to two vote, the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted in support for SB 797 today. The much anticipated bill will be heard on the Senate floor next week.

SB 797, which authorizes a consolidated three county election to permanently fund Caltrain operations and greatly increase ridership capacity, is widely supported among Leadership Group member companies. In fact, 100 CEOs and senior officers signed onto a letter to Senator Jerry Hill within 24-hours, calling for the passage of SB 797 to address the crippling congestion on Highway 101/Caltrain Corridor. “We can’t sit idle while our talent and treasure sits stalled in gridlock on Hwy. 101,” said President and CEO Carl Guardino, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and a Governor Brown appointee to the California Transportation Commission. Click here to read the letter to Senator Jerry Hill.

The Leadership Group is sponsoring SB 797 authored by Senator Hill and co-authored by Senators Beall, Wieckowski and Weiner. SB 797 would allow voters in the three Caltrain counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco to hold their own joint election to permanently fund the operations, maintenance and capacity expansion of the widely popular Caltrain commuter rail service through a 1/8 cent sales tax.

The Hwy. 101 Corridor, in which Caltrain runs, has become one of the most congested corridors in the United States. It’s also the economic engine that helps drive our state’s success and competitiveness. The 50-mile stretch of Caltrain between downtown San Jose and downtown San Francisco is home to the following:

*1.6 million jobs

*54 percent of all patents filed from California

*20 percent of California’s GDP

* 13 percent of California’s sales tax revenue

To further ensure broad-based community support, a ballot measure will only move forward if there is a two-third vote of approval by the Caltrain Joint Powers Board, a majority vote of each of the transit districts in the three Caltrain counties (SFMTA, SMCD, SCVTA) and a vote of approval from the Board of Supervisors representing San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Finally, any ballot measure must also be approved by two-thirds of the voters in the three Caltrain counties.

If interested in an interview or an update on SB 797 and what comes next, please contact Kimberly Ellis, SVP Communications and Marketing at kellis@svlg.org / 408.501.7853 or Nancy Sanchez, Senior Director of Communications at nsanchez@svlg.org / 408.501.7879.

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On September 8th, 2017, posted in: Press Releases by