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Caltrain Cracking Down On Parking Fee Evaders

SAN MATEO (CBS 5) Caltrain riders should think twice before deciding deciding not to pay for parking.

In the first half of 2011, Caltrain more than doubled the number of parking tickets from the same period a year earlier from 988 to 2,144.

“A lot of people know Caltrain is in tough financial times, one of the things they wanted us to do was focus on generating more revenue,” said Mark Simmons of Caltrain.

Part of the problem could also be Caltrain’s new way of having people pay for parking. You now pay at the ticket kiosk, where you just push daily parking and you have to enter the space number where you parked your car. That means, if you pay the daily rate, you no longer need proof of purchase on the dash of your car. So sometimes, especially later in the day, people just pull into a spot assuming somebody’s already paid for that day.

The system went into effect in 2009. Drivers who took advantage during the first two years are now the target of transit officials.

There have also been some complaints that the numbered parking spaces are difficult to read.

“I don’t think it’s so complicated you can’t figure out how to follow the law,” said Simmons.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • karin

    Hey, it’s tough economic times for almost everybody. What is the economic benefit for riding the train? With $4 for parking and roughly $10 each way for the train itself, depending on your destination, the cost is well beyond that of driving. Is that the plan?

  • Miles Coatsee

    Karin has a point. If government officials want us to take public transit — as they are CONSTANTLY imploring us to do — they shouldn’t discourage potential riders by charging them to park in public transit lots. They should be doing the opposite — making it free to park there in order to encourage drivers to use public transporation.

    Public transit is a hassle for most people. For that reason, it’s tough to get commuters out of their cars. Charging them money to do so will only make the problem worse, not better.

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