Why do we need Measure RR?

To rescue Caltrain, relieve traffic and reduce pollution. Caltrain is an essential part of the Bay Area’s transportation network, providing reliable transit and removing thousands of cars from our highways every day. However, we are at risk of losing Caltrain due to COVID-19. Without a dedicated funding source like Measure RR, Caltrain will be forced to shut down. With Measure RR, Caltrain can survive, thrive and expand to be a fast, frequent, world-class service.

Do we still need Caltrain with so many people working from home?

This pandemic won’t last forever and traffic will return, worse than before COVID-19. Plus, thousands of essential workers — like nurses, teachers and first responders — rely on Caltrain daily. While many of us have the luxury of working from home during the pandemic, these local heroes rely on Caltrain to do the work that keeps us safe.

Does Measure RR do more than just save Caltrain?

Yes! Measure RR will help Caltrain provide faster and more frequent trains, more express trains and better connections to BART, Muni, SamTrans and VTA. It will also help support discounted fares for low-income residents, people with disabilities, students and working-class families to ensure Caltrain can remain an affordable option for all types of riders.

Will Measure RR provide local jobs?

Yes. Estimates indicate that projects funded by Measure RR will support more than 16,000 good-paying jobs in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. That’s just the type of economic boost the Bay Area needs right now to reduce unemployment and return to a sense of normalcy.

How will Measure RR reduce pollution?

If Measure RR is approved, Caltrain will be able to invest in cleaner and quieter cars, reducing air and noise pollution. Additionally, transportation studies indicate that, by increasing Caltrain frequency and affordability, Measure RR will take the equivalent of two lanes of traffic off our highways. Fewer cars on our roads means less pollution in the air we breathe.

How will Measure RR make Caltrain more equitable and affordable?

Measure RR will support discounted fares for low-income residents, people with disabilities, students and working-class families to ensure Caltrain can remain an affordable option for all types of riders. It will also provide more frequent off-hours trains to support those that need to get to work during nonpeak commute times. Finally, Measure RR will better connect Caltrain to the rest of the Bay Area transportation network so that those residents who rely on Bart, Muni, SamTrans or VTA can be better served by our regional rail line.

Specifically, what will Measure RR accomplish?

Voting Yes on RR will rescue Caltrain, relieve traffic and reduce pollution. Your Yes vote will:

  • Relieve traffic congestion
  • Ease traffic on Highways 101, 280, 380, 85, 87, 92, El Camino Real and local Expressways
  • Preserve Caltrain service for thousands of essential workers
  • Reduce air and noise pollution with cleaner and quieter electric trains
  • Make Caltrain more affordable and accessible
  • Create local jobs
  • Reduce travel times and provide better all-day, all-week service
  • Make fares more equitable and increase diversity of ridership
  • Improve Caltrain connections with BART, Muni, SamTrans and VTA
  • Increase rider and pedestrian safety
Does Measure RR include fiscal accountability requirements?

Yes, an independent oversight committee and annual public audits are mandatory, ensuring that every penny of Measure RR is spent as promised. Legally, all funds must support the Caltrain system within San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties — nothing can be taken by the State or used for any other purpose.

Doesn’t Caltrain already have a dedicated funding source?

No, Caltrain is the only major transit system in the Bay Area without its own dedicated funding source. Currently, Caltrain relies almost exclusively on fares, which is why COVID-19 has brought the rail line to the brink of shutdown. If approved, Measure RR would provide a dedicated source of locally controlled funding that could only support Caltrain.

What happens if Measure RR fails?

If Measure RR is not approved, Caltrain may be forced to shut down until ridership returns to pre-pandemic levels. Independent studies estimate that it would cost more than $155 million to restart Caltrain again in the event of a shutdown. Even without a shutdown, Caltrain will not be able to increase service to meet demand. That means more traffic, more pollution and longer commutes.

How did Measure RR get on the ballot?

Regional leaders — from seven different boards and commissions representing all three counties — came together to get Measure RR on the November ballot to save Caltrain from shutdown. While the interests of Muni, SamTrans and VTA and of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara don’t always align, the various agencies were able to set their differences aside and reach an agreement to place Measure RR on the ballot.

Does Measure RR ensure that out-of-town visitors pay their fair share?

Yes. Measure RR is not a property tax and visitors will pay a portion, ensuring that local homeowners, local businesses and renters don’t shoulder the entire burden. In fact, a significant percentage of local sales tax is paid by individuals outside of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

How much does Measure RR cost?

Measure RR is a 1/8 cent sales tax. If approved, it would only add a penny to an $8 purchase — a small price to pay to generate $108 million annually in locally controlled funding to rescue Caltrain, relieve traffic and reduce pollution.

Does Measure RR affect essential purchases like groceries, rent, and medicine?

No. By law, essential purchases like these are exempt from sales tax.

When can I vote for Measure RR?

Measure RR will be on the ballot in the November 3, 2020 election. This year, all voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot, even if you normally vote at the polls. Ballots will be mailed in early October.

Who is eligible to vote on Measure RR?

All registered voters in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are eligible to vote on Measure RR.

What level of support is needed to approve Measure RR?

Measure RR requires two-thirds support among all votes cast for the measure in the three counties. It does not technically require two-thirds support within each county, so long as the total level of support across the three counties is over two-thirds.

How long will Measure RR be in place?

If approved, Measure RR will last for 30 years and could only be renewed by voter approval.

What if I have questions about voting?

If you have questions about voting, contact your county’s Registrar of Voters or Department of Elections. Contact information for each county can be found below.