Santa Clara VTA approves MOU for new Caltrain governance

Aug. 5, 2022
Santa Clara VTA was the final approval needed to move forward with the MOU that will provide San Francisco and Santa Clara Counties more power and oversight of commuter rail service.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of new governance for Caltrain was approved by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board of Directors on Aug. 4; Santa Clara VTA is the final approval needed after the MOU was approved by San Mateo County Transportation District (SamTrans), Caltrain, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and San Francisco Board of Supervisors this summer.

The MOU establishes a separate, permanent Caltrain executive director who reports exclusively to, and takes direction from, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB), which exercises authority over the selection, hiring, annual goal setting, performance review, compensation and termination of the Caltrain executive director.

As a negotiated settlement for the governance transition, the MOU also includes a commitment for Santa Clara VTA to pay $9.12 million within 12 months of execution of the MOU to compensate SamTrans.

SamTrans will no longer have sole final discretionary appointing power of an executive director, general counsel and auditor for Caltrain.

A majority of the Caltrain board will now decide on the executive director and Caltrain will maintain its own general counsel and auditor separate from SamTrans.