SAN CARLOS (KCBS) – A community organization on the Peninsula is working to ensure the Caltrain system has funding to preserve its future.

The transit agency is facing a $30 million deficit, which is about a third of their spending. The co-founder of “Friends of Caltrain,” Yoriko Kishimoto, said that the agency has the second highest fare box recovery in the Bay Area.

“It’s doing well except for the fact that of the 28 transit agencies in the Bay Area, it lacks a dedicated funding source,” she said.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Kishimoto said she believes in a three-pronged approach to save Caltrain: new revenue, containing costs and increasing ridership.

Palo Alto architect and real estate developer Tony Carrasco said he believes the train is crucial.

“Values in downtown Palo Alto are dependant on how many riders can ride the train and access our city,” Carrasco said.

Peninsula communities grew up around Caltrain, where there are walkable downtowns near train depots.

Stanford grad student Ben Allen said he doesn’t want to buy a car.

“It’s a lot more fun to be able to grade student papers on the train and look out the window,” he said.

The Caltrain board is expected to declare a fiscal emergency for the third straight year on February 3.

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