Caltrain may be faced with a $30 million deficit. It may be forced to eliminate weekend service and slash weekday service to rush hour only. It may even be forced to suspend service to stops south of Diridon Station. There is, however, one thing it will not cut: CEO Mike Scanlon’s salary. Scanlon, an industry veteran of 44 years, makes $400,668 per year, making him the highest paid CEO of the Bay Area’s 23 transit operators. It is almost $50,000 more than BART’s CEO, even though that line has four times as many staff and riders as Caltrain.
Even though the salary is 59 percent higher than the median salary for Bay Area transit service CEOs, Caltrain’s board of directors believes that it is defendable. Board President Sean Elsbernd says that overall, the train operator has lower administrative costs than any of the other lines. That, coupled with Scanlon’s experience, makes him just the right man for the job. He has also been at the post since 1999, and is responsible for many important innovations, including the popular Baby Bullet train.
The question is whether the salary remains justified with reduced service and another fare hike expected in the not too distant future. While the Board seems to think it is, it remains to be seen how riders will respond.
Read More at CBS 5.