Local Municipal Services
Local "Municipal" Type Services
Atherton residents receive services through a mixture of in-house staff, contracts and partnerships, as well as services through outside agencies such as water services, sewer services, and telecommunications services. To assist the community with obtaining better service information and delivery we have assembled a comprehensive list of the various types of services provided in Atherton.
List of Municipal Services Below
Animal Control - Animal Services JPA - Peninsula Humane Society
Cable JPA - Mid-Peninsula JPA
San Mateo County Library - San Mateo County Library JPA
Sanitation - South Bay Waste Management Authority (Recology - trash, recycling, & compost)
Sewer - West Bay Sanitary District & Fair Oaks Sanitary District
Schools - Local public and private schools
Transportation - Caltrans and Caltrain (Peninsula Corridor JPB)
Water - California Water Service
The information gathered below was produced for the Town's website November 2014. Staff updates contact information or other general data on an as needed basis. Some of the data, particularly financial data may be dated. This list is not exhaustive as many other agencies (regional, state and federal) serve the needs of the community. Here is a link to Regional, State, and Federal Resources and here is a link to some helpful phone numbers (includes local utility companies).
Every parcel in Town is subject to taxation by a number of taxing agencies, such as the County, cities, school districts, and other various special districts. To facilitate the application of taxes, the County Assessor groups properties into specific Tax Rate Areas (TRAs). Taxing entities that have a share of the 1% General Tax (based on Assessed Valuation) have a set percentage of the General Tax amount based on each Tax Rate Area.
These TRAs are numbered and appear on both secured and unsecured tax bills. You can look at your tax bill and find your specific tax rate area or, you can go to the County's website and look up your property address on the publicly accessible tax information database:
For the parcel shown to the right, the Tax Rate Area is shown as 01-002 (or 1002). When in the database for your particular parcel, you can click on "General Tax" and it will show a breakdown of the General Tax amount for the Parcel - in this case, $62,454.40. However, the General Tax amount (1% of assessed valuation) is not broken down by how much each taxing entity receives. For that, you can download a Tax Rate Area spreadsheet (PDF) that the Town created as an exemplar of what each taxing agency charges within each Tax Rate Area. The data in the spreadsheet shows each entity that receives a portion of the General Tax amount and how much their allocation percentage is of the 1%. The spreadsheet shows the total assessed valuations for each TRA for 2015/16.
One caveat with the spreadsheet, it provides the gross amount of property tax received, inclusive of the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF). ERAF is a State of California creation that helps the State balance its required budget for schools. In the 1990s, the State reallocated property tax revenue from local agencies and used it to balance their required allocation for schools under Proposition 98. Under the ERAF formula, if, after meeting the minimum requirements under Prop 98, there is excess ERAF remaining, it is returned to the local agencies in proportion to the tax allocation. There are only three (3) counties in California where there is Excess ERAF returned back to local agencies - Marin, Napa, and San Mateo. This is due to the high property values in these counties. ERAF has an impact on the amount of actual property tax revenue that specific agencies on the spreadsheet receive. These agencies include the Town of Atherton, Menlo Park Fire Protection District, County, and other Special Districts. The impact to Atherton reduces the total received for Atherton from $9 million to approximately $7.9 million. A recent Fire District report (noted below) advises the same for the Fire District reducing their $13.4 million down to $11.8 million.
On your property tax bill information, you can also click on "Detailed Special Charges" and you will get detail assessment information - the Atherton Special Tax, West Bay Sanitary, Mosquito Abatement, etc.
Using the Tax Rate Area spreadsheet noted above, for Tax Rate Area 1002, the Town's portion of the 1% General Tax is 9.89324%. With a General Tax of $62,454.40, the Town's portion of that tax amounts to $6,178.76 from this particular parcel.
Most of the Town is in concentrated in about 6 tax rate areas:
- TRA 1001 (38.67%)
- TRA 1011 (21.27%)
- TRA 1004 (6.52%)
- TRA 1005 (6.32%)
- TRA 1013 (5.63%)
- TRA 1020 (5.40%)
A map of the Tax Rate Areas for Atherton shown to the right can be downloaded (PDF). The map highlights geographically where the Tax Rate Areas are throughout Town.
Since 1952, San Mateo County has contracted with the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) for animal control field and sheltering service. All twenty cities in the County, including the Town of Atherton, have in turn contracted with the County for these services. Under this contract, all 21 agencies (20 cities and the County) share the cost of services based on a formula that factors agencies’ proportionate use of field services and shelter services.
Animal Control services are provided by PHS in a 45,000 square foot building at 12 Airport Boulevard in San Mateo. In 2011, PHS moved its charitable, mission-driven functions, such as animal adoption, from the Airport Boulevard shelter to its recently constructed 57,000 square foot building on Rollins Road in Burlingame.
The mandated animal control services functions remain at the Airport Boulevard shelter. Those functions include: receiving and housing stray animals; servicing as the location for the public when looking for lost pets or surrendering unwanted animals; sheltering animals; spay/neuter clinic; and, vaccination clinic. For public convenience, licensing, micro-chipping, veterinary care and animal behavior work are performed at both locations.
Due to the age of the Airport Boulevard shelter, is in need of significant repairs. The Town presently pays $52,000 for basic animal control services through the County’s contract with the PHS. Earlier this year Council approved an MOU for Funding the Construction of an Animal Care Shelter as part of the Animal Control Services Agreement. Approval of the MOU requires an additional $4,297 to $5,749 annually as part of a zero-interest payment over 30-years toward the cost of building the new shelter.
San Mateo County Animal Control & Licensing
225 37th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94403
Program Manager (650) 573-3726
Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA
12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94401
1450 Rollins Rd., Burlingame, CA 94010
Telephone: (650) 340-8200
The cities of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, the Town of Atherton, and portions of the County of San Mateo and the County of Santa Clara created a Joint Powers Agency (JPA) for cable television service within these jurisdictions. The City of Palo Alto acts as the administrative agency for the JPA. In 2002, the franchise was transferred to Comcast Corporation. The franchise agreement required Comcast to complete an upgrade of the cable system, which included the construction of a dark fiber optic institutional network (I-Net). There is no charge for use of the I-Net for our channels. The I-Net supports the broadcast capabilities of the local area Media Center. The Media Center is responsible for operating and managing the JPA’s public, education, and governmental channels (channel numbers 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 75, and 76) and facilities.
The Town has installed a new Audio Visual component that will allow us to video record our Council and Committee meetings “in-house.” Once the system is finalized and running, staff will coordinate broadcasts with the Media Centers programming staff. This will allow residents to watch our Council and Committee meetings from their home televisions. In addition to residents who subscribe to Comcast, AT&T U-verse subscribers can also watch from AT&T's channel 99 menu, plus anyone with a high speed internet connection can watch the live stream from our website anywhere in the world.
The Town of Atherton receives a franchise fee through the cable JPA. The franchise fee is regulated by the State at percentage of gross revenues or the percentage paid by an incumbent cable operator under a prior franchise agreement. It is an approximate of 7.03%. These franchise fees are calculated and billed to each individual cable consumer. In FY 2014/15 the Town estimates $152,060 in cable franchise fees. This equates to the Town of Atherton producing approximately $2.16 Million in gross cable revenue.
MidPen Media Center
900 San Antonio Rd,
Palo Alto, CA 94303
The Menlo Park Fire Protection District covers approximately 30 square miles and serves a population estimated around 90,000. The Fire District covers the communities of Atherton, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto plus some of the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. The District has seven stations and responds to roughly 8,500 emergencies per year - 60% of them being emergency medical incidents.
There are five stations within the MPFPD that serve portions of Atherton. Station 3 is located in Atherton at 32 Almendral Ave. The station is manned by 3 firefighters -1 Captain and 2 firefighters. One of the three personnel is also a licensed paramedic providing the Town of Atherton an Advanced Life Support Engine.
The map to the right provides a picture of the general support area of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District with an icon of where each station is located. In addition to Station 3, Atherton is served in part by Station 1, 4, 5, & 6. The Town's Response Network is divided as follows:
Station 1 - 34%
Station 3 - 79%
Station 4 - 37%
Station 5 - 27%
Station 6 - 28%
Additional information can be found on the Fire District website at the following link to the April 2015 Report (PDF).
The MPFPD is governed by a five-member Board of Directors elected at-large who serve four-year staggered terms. The District Board of Directors is charged with providing strategic leadership, policy and direction, and fiscal oversight. The President is the presiding officer, appoints committee members and liaisons, and sets Board agendas and goals.
In addition to your typical Cadet and Explorer Programs the MPFPD offers a Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the most amount of good for the greatest amount of people. The (MPFPD) sponsors CERT activities including training, exercises, and community service. Local CERT volunteers work hand-in-hand with professional responders to help ensure the safety and resilience of our community.
San Mateo County is comprised of 15 fire agencies protecting 20 incorporated cities and the unincorporated areas of San Mateo. San Mateo County area aid each other through mutual and automatic aid agreements to allow for seamless response times to the citizens of the County. All calls are dispatched through the San Mateo County’s Public Safety Communications Center which allows for use of what they refer to as a “boundary drop”.
Essentially, it doesn’t matter what district, city or JPA a Department is working under they are still required to respond to a call if they are the closest engine available – regardless of the boundary in which they work. The idea is to have an engine in each city, based on demographics, ready to respond regardless of what jurisdiction they are from. This is so that when a particular city’s resources are depleted, there is a system in place where the next closest engine would cover the empty station so that there is at least one engine covering each city.
There are 2,619 parcels in Atherton. The County Assessor’s Office provides (from the Annual Tax Increment information) that the Fire District (pre-ERAF) portion of the 1% property tax is an average of $0.15286 of each property tax dollar (link to Fire District Report). The Town's FY 2015/16 Assessed Valuation was $8,791,201,962. More detailed Fire District fiscal information is available on the District website.
Menlo Park Fire Protection District
170 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
The San Mateo County Library (SMCL) is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and comprised of several cities within the County, including Atherton. Library policies are set by the Library Administration and the JPA governing board. Staffing is provided through SMCL. SMCL offers a wide range of services, resources, and programs to meet the needs of the residents in Atherton.
The San Mateo County Library (SMCL) is comprised of the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, Woodside, and Unincorporated areas of the county. The JPA is governed by a board consisting of a representative from the City Council of each member entity. The city manager from each jurisdiction sits on the JPA Operations Committee which works closely with library administration in budget development and policy formation. The Operations Committee then makes recommendations to the governing Board to take action upon.
The SMCL is classified as a dependent district. The property taxes collected for the district are allocated directly to the SMCL to provide library services to the cities within the JPA. The average tax rate for San Mateo County Library is $0.032. This means that for every $100 of assessed value of a property, the San Mateo County Library tax is approximately $0.32 cents. The primary source of revenue for the San Mateo County Library is property taxes. The FY 2014/15 Budget for the Library District is $20,231,050. Included in that total is the Town's basic library service costs as well as approximately $1,378,000 to the Town's "donor fund" account. Donor funds are used to supplement basic services each year and save for future capital projects. In this case, the Library component of the Town's Civic Center Project. In FY 2014/15 the Town is allocating $1,250,000 toward the Civic Center Project. The service area for the Atherton Branch is 5.049 square miles. The total San Mateo County Library covers an approximately a population of 275,000.
The SMCL has 12 branches and a bookmobile which provide a source of books, periodicals, newspapers and information in multiple languages. The libraries provide access to computers and the Internet, online databases, music, videos, business resources, and educational research. The website or “e-Branch” provides access to a wealth of information and is accessible in each branch library or from a resident’s personal computer at home, work, or school.
The San Mateo County Library also responds to the informational, educational and cultural needs of the community by offering a broad range of programs for children, teens and adults including author readings, lectures, films, exhibits, dance and musical performances. Outreach services include book club readings provided to incarcerated youth, and programs offered in settings such as schools, low-income clinics and shelters. Educational programming includes homework help assistance, computer training, and literacy services for children, families and adults.
The San Mateo County Library provides each city with an Annual Report which highlights accomplishments throughout the fiscal year. Those reports can be found on the Town’s website under the Library Department.
Director of Library Services
San Mateo County Library
125 Lessingia Court, San Mateo, CA 94402
Mosquito & Vector Control
The Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) provides services to the entire Atherton community that includes mosquito abatement, yellow jacket/wasp nest removal, tick & insect identification, and testing, collection of dead birds and squirrels, inspects mice and rat problems and conducts community outreach and education on all of their services.
Our residents pay for these services though a special tax approved by voters in 1982. The cost for this special tax is a maximum amount of $3.74 per parcel to be charged each tax year. Along with the $3.74 per parcel amount, 0.0000185505 of each property tax dollar for this area is delineated for use by Mosquito and Vector Control. When the District receives property tax (ad valorem) revenues from the County they are not provided a breakdown as to which city it comes from. The District simply receives a lump sum from the County. There is, however a Special Mosquito Control Tax that is assessed to residents in 13 cities within the county, which includes Atherton. The Special Mosquito Control Tax is $3.74 per parcel.
The District’s annual budget for the FY14/15 budget is set at $4,538,866, for all of the areas they service.
The SMCMVCD provides vital services to our community. Recently the District “fogged” areas of Menlo Park. Triggering the action was the detection of two pools of adult mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in that area. As a result, the district decided to fog an area of Menlo Park bordered by Sand Hill Road to the south, Camino Al Lago to the north, University Drive on the east and Altschul Avenue to the west.
Often times the Town receives reports from residents about bee nests. The Town of Atherton does not handle wasps on private property. If the insects are wasps (yellow jackets), the San Mateo County Mosquito Abatement program will come to your property and destroy the nest free of charge. Dependent on the level of urgency, the District typically responds within 24 hours.
The District is governed by a 19-member Board of Trustees made up of residents appointed by their respective City Council. They serve for a term of two or four years and are highly dedicated to this community service. The Atherton City Council appoints a resident member to serve on the board. Currently, Atherton resident Mason Brutschy is serving a 4-year term that expires in December, 2017.
Contact information for the District:
1351 Rollins Road
Burlingame, CA 94010
Ph: (650) 344 - 8592
Fax: (650) 344 - 3843
RethinkWaste, also known as the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA) is a joint powers authority of twelve public agencies (Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, the County of San Mateo and the West Bay Sanitary District) in San Mateo County. RethinkWaste owns and manages the Shoreway Environmental Center which receives all of the recyclables, organics, and garbage collected in its service area. RethinkWaste also provides oversight, support and management of service providers that collect, process, recycle and dispose of materials for the 12 Member Agencies. Recology San Mateo County (Recology) provides Recycle, Compost and Garbage collection services for the 93,000 RethinkWaste residences and 10,000 businesses. These services are a franchise granted by the Town through the SBWMA to Recology.
The Governing Board of SBWMA is comprised of an elected official from each member agency, selected by the agency to serve on the Board of Directors. The Chair and Vice Chair are selected annually by the Board. Board of Directors’ meetings are held the fourth Thursday of every month.
The SBWMA is served by eight employees that include an executive director, recycling programs manager, finance manager, facility operations contract manager, recycling outreach and sustainability manager, office manager, and an environmental education coordinator and associate.
Trash, recyclables and organics are collected on a weekly basis. Atherton Municipal Code encourages residents to place the recycling containers at the curb no sooner than the evening prior to pick up, but no later than the evening of pick up.
Residents can look up their pick up day by entering their address on the Recology Website Service Day Look Up.
Residents should first contact Recology at (650) 595-3900 about their concerns. In general, most problems can be resolved with a phone call. The Town's franchise requires Recology to be responsive to residents' needs, and procedures are in place for the Town to fine Recology for patterns of poor customer service.
The current cost for services is provided in the rate tables below. A complete rate sheet can be downloaded here (PDF).
|Black Garbage Container||2018 Monthly Rates|
Residential Organic Fee Charge (in addition to the two Organic Material carts and one Recyclable Materials cart)
|Green Organic Fee Container||2018 Monthly Rates|
|1 or 2 cans||$20.00 each|
|3 or more additional cans||$25.00 each|
The projected total budget requirement for SBWMA and the member agencies is approximately $97 Million. The Town of Atherton’s estimated revenue requirement for refuse is $2.8 Million. Of this amount, the town of Atherton portion of the Contractor compensation is approximately $1,500,193 and $970,000 for refuse disposal and processing fees. The Town receives a garbage franchise fee projected to be $343,000 in Fiscal Year 2014/2015. The revenue for the refuse component to SBWMA and Recology is derived from refuse rates charged to residents. Each agency is responsible for setting its refuse rates. Each year during the fall, SBWMA staff and town staff review the revenue requirements needed to maintain refuse operations. Through the process we ensure the rates are sufficient to cover the Town’s portion of refuse contractor costs and disposal. More information.
Recology San Mateo County
225 Shoreway Road
San Carlos, CA 94070
Customer Service: (650) 595-3900
ReThink Waste SBWMA
RethinkWaste Office (650) 802-3500
610 Elm St, Ste 202, San Carlos, CA 94070
Shoreway Facility (650) 802-8355
333 Shoreway Rd, San Carlos, CA 94070
For questions about your Recycle, Compost and Garbage services and billing:
Recology San Mateo County
225 Shoreway Road San Carlos CA 94070
Customer Service: (650) 595-3900
The Town is divided in to two separate sewer districts. A list of streets and the District to which the street belongs can be accessed by clicking here (PDF).
The Town does not review or approve sewer rates. The sewer systems are “closed systems” and are not connected to or related to the storm drain system.
Fair Oaks Sewer District
San Mateo County Public Works provides sewer collection services through ten sewer maintenance and sanitation districts to several portions within the County.
The Fair Oaks District covers a portion of Atherton. The County only maintains records as the District in its entirety. On the map below, blue represents Atherton parcel in the Fair Oaks Sewer District.
The sewer collection service program is primarily funded by sewer service charges levied on properties that receive sewer service from the specific district. The sewer service charge is set by the Board of Supervisors and collected annually on the property tax bill.
For the Fair Oaks District, our residents can find the current rates by visiting the County Sewer Service Rate Page.
Residents pay for sewer service through a sewer service charge. The districts levy the charges on the customer’s tax bills. It is NOT a tax, but a fee that paid for the service just like other utility bills. The property tax bill is a cost effective way to collect these fees. The fees collected by the district and not spent remain with the district, as each district is a separate “stand alone” district with separate budgets.
The Fair Oaks Sewer District is governed by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
Contact information for the Fair Oaks District:
County of San Mateo
Department of Public Works
555 County Center, 5th Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063-1665
West Bay Sanitary District
The West Bay Sanitary District (WBSD) also provides sewer collection in some unincorporated portions of the County. The WBSD provides service for the remaining residents in Atherton not covered by the Fair Oaks District. Most of the streets serviced by the West Bay Sanitary District are located between Atherton Ave/Marsh Road and Valparaiso and between Hwy 280 and Bay Road.
The purpose of the sewer service charge is to raise revenue for the costs of maintenance, operation, construction, and reconstruction of the District’s wastewater facilities. These facilities are used for the collection, conveyance, treatment, and disposal of wastewater. WBSD collects and conveys wastewater for treatment at the Silicon Valley Clean Water wastewater treatment plant in Redwood City.
Our residents can find the most current rates through the West Bay Sanitary District Rate Page.
The West Bay Sanitary District is governed by a five (5) member board of directors elected in November of odd years. The District’s annual operating budget for FY 2014/15 is $22 Million. Of that amount, $20.9 Million is attributable to revenue from Commercial, Industrial and residential customers. The remaining revenue is generated by connection fees and permit fees etc.
Contact information for West Bay Sanitary:
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm
Phone: (650) 321 - 0384
By Email: email@example.com
Schools (Public & Private)
The following school districts operate within Atherton.
Las Lomitas Elementary School District
- Las Lomitas Elementary School
The Las Lomitas Elementary School District (LLESD) Governing Board has four elected members, each serving a four-year term.
The annual school budget for the FY 14/15 is 21,574,027. There are approximately 55 Atherton residents in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District. To confirm District residency, resident’s should call the Superintendent's office at 650.854.2880.
Email School District Superintendent Lisa Cesario, 650-854-2880
Email School Principal Alain Camou, 650-854-5900
Menlo Park City School District
- Laurel Elementary School (Grades K-3) - Atherton
- Email School Principal Linda Creighton, 650-324-0186
- Encinal Elementary School (Grades K-5) – Atherton
- Email School Principal Sharon Burns, 650-326-5164
- Oak Knoll (Grades K-5) – Menlo Park
- Hillview (Grades 6-8) – Menlo Park
The Menlo Park City School District is governed by a 5-member board to four-year terms and is managed by School Superintendent Maurice Ghysels.
The annual school budget for serving four schools for the FY 14/15 is 38,724,246. There are currently 228 students that reside in Atherton and attend one of the four schools within the Menlo Park School District.
Redwood City School District
- Selby Lane Elementary School (Grades K-8)
The District is governed by a 6-member Board of Trustees.
Email School Principal Warren Sedar, 650-368-3996
750 Bradford Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Sequoia Union High School District
- Menlo-Atherton High School (Grades 9-12)
The District is governed by a 6-member Board of Trustees. The annual school budget for the FY 14/15 is $20,385,000. There are currently 104 students who attend the SUHSD who live within the Atherton boundaries. All of Atherton is zoned for Menlo-Atherton High School. If someone wants to know about which school they would attend, or how to attend a different high school in our district, they can visit the district website at www.seq.org. > Policies and Forms > Open Enrollment.
Email School Prinicpal Simone Rick-Kennel, 650-322-5311
Sequoia Union High School District
Redwood City, CA 94062
650-369-1411 ext. 22211
Sacred Heart Schools (Grades K-12)
Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (SHS) is a Catholic, independent, co-educational preschool through grade 12, located on a 64-acre campus in the heart of Atherton. SHS is part of the larger Network of Sacred Heart Schools, encompassing 24 campuses in the United States and Provinces.
Governance for the institution is headed by the Director of Schools, supported by the School Administrative Council (SAC), which consists of: a chief financial officer, chief operating officer, three school principals, director of admissions, director of human resources, director of strategic planning and institutional projects, director of technology, director of equity, justice, and multi-cultural education, and director of Formation to Mission. The executive assistant to the Director of Schools also serves on SAC.
Within the school structure, there are three divisions, each headed by a principal and supporting divisional team: Preschool & Kindergarten, Lower & Middle Schools, and Sacred Heart Preparatory (high school).
Total number of Atherton families with one or more students enrolled in preschool through grade 12 is approximately 188.
Pre-School & K Principal:
Email Cee Salberg, 650-473-4060
Principal Lower/Middle School (1-8)
Email Francesca Brake, 650-454-4041
High School Principal (9-12)
Email Jennifer Whitcomb, 650-473-4077
SHS Office of Admission
SHS Public Relations & Marketing
Email Public Relations and Marketing
Menlo School (Grades 6-12)
Menlo School is governed by 26-member Board of Trustees, elected for two three-year terms, and five ex officio members, all of whom monitor the success of the School in fulfilling its mission.
The schools annual budget for FY 14/15 is $32,801,676. The school has approximately 118 Atherton residents in attendance. There are no school attendance boundary lines.
Email School Principal Than Healy, 650-330-2000
50 Valparaiso Avenue
Atherton, CA 94027
Contact: Admissions Office, 330-2001 x2600
The School is a private co-educational 4-year college governed by an 11-member Board of Trustees. The school’s annual budget is $23 million. There are approximately 500 Atherton residents in attendance, mainly student-residents on campus.
The majority of Menlo College students are residents of California (68%), 32% of students come from a combination of 17 different states in the US and 33 different countries.
Email School Principal Richard Moran, 650-543-3744
1000 El Camino Real
Atherton, CA 94027-4301
Darcy Blake, Director of Communications
Caltrain provides commuter rail service along the San Francisco Peninsula, through the South Bay to San Jose and Gilroy.
The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad Company began passenger rail service on the Peninsula in 1863. It was later named Caltrain in 1992, when the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board took over the operation of the train. The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which owns and operates Caltrain, consists of representatives from San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Each County has three representatives – one County Board of Supervisor, one Council Member and one resident.
Caltrain provides weekend service in Atherton throughout the day from approximately 7:30 a.m. through 11:00 p.m. Stations, schedules, trip planners, fares and mobile applications can be found on the Caltrain website at www.caltrain.com. The Town expects that Caltrain will resume weekday service to Atherton in 2019.
The San Mateo County Supervisors are considering how to spend a sales tax increase approved by voters last November. SamTrans is asking for funding, and this could enable SamTrans to meet its commitment to Caltrain.
Caltrain's Electrification Project
The Caltrain Modernization (CalMod) Program will electrify and upgrade the performance, operating efficiency, capacity, safety, and reliability of Caltrain’s commuter rail service by 2020 or 2021. The components of the CalMod program include the advanced signal system project(Communications Based Overlay Signal System Positive Train Control or CBOSS PTC) and the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP).
FAQS (PDF) For Communications Based Overlay Signal System (CBOSS)
Positive Train Control (PTC)
Installation Fact Sheet (PDF) For Communications Based Overlay Signal System (CBOSS) Positive Train Control (PTC)
Data Communications System (PDF) For Communications Based Overlay Signal System (CBOSS) Positive Train Control (PTC)
1250 San Carlos Ave
San Carlos, CA
Caltrans, a State Agency through the Department of Transportation manages more than 50,000 miles of California's highway and freeway lanes, provides inter-city rail services, permits more than 400 public-use airports and special-use hospital heliports, and works with local agencies.
Caltrans is organized into 12 Districts throughout the State and overseen by a Director and Chief Deputy Director. District 4 has jurisdiction over Atherton and the rest of San Mateo County. District 4 pushes road alerts, conditions, closures, sigalerts, weather conditions and air quality messages through its website and on its Twitter Feed.
In Atherton, El Camino Real is a 6-lane State highway (Route 82). All improvements to State highways are Caltrans projects. The stipulation that the project is a Caltrans project applies even if the project is financed by other entities. Caltrans has full jurisdictional authority over maintenance, operations, project planning, design, and implementation on State highways. As a stakeholder, the Town provides input and recommendations into that process and can even participate financially to assist with priority projects.
There are seven (7) crosswalks that are either within or at the Town’s boundaries along El Camino Real. Two (2) of these crosswalks are at controlled intersections with one at 5th Avenue and El Camino Real and one at Atherton Avenue and El Camino Real. The remaining five (5) crosswalks are all within the Town’s boundaries and cross El Camino Real at Selby Lane, Stockbridge Avenue, Almendral Avenue, Isabella Avenue, and Alejandra Avenue.
Under an agreement with Caltrans, the Town maintains the landscaped median and vegetation within the right-of-way.
The speed limit on El Camino Real in Atherton is 35 MPH.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) mission is to improve mobility across California through safety, project delivery, stewardship, and service. Below is a picture of the California State Budget for Caltrans.
The following presents enacted state fund expenditure amounts for the fiscal year by General Fund, special funds, and selected bond funds.
General Fund $83,012
Special Funds 3,538,583
Selected Bond Funds 1,023,480
Totals, State Funds $4,645,075
For general information about Caltrans and its services, contact us at (916) 654-2852.
District 4 Address
- Caltrans District 4, 111 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
- Caltrans District 4, P.O. Box 23660, Oakland, CA 94623-0660
- (510) 286-4444 Main Line
California Water Service Company(Cal Water) provides water throughout the state through various Districts. The Bear Gulch District serves our residents through a combination of local surface water and surface water purchased from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). Atherton residents can contact Cal Water for a number of issues and questions related to their bill on the Cal Water website
Atherton’s water rates are set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The Town does not review or approve water rates.
|For the first 1,000 cubic feet, per 100 cubic feet||$4.8081|
|For the next 2,500 cubic feet, per 100 cubic feet||$5.1094|
|For all over 3,500 cubic feet, per 100 cubic feet||$6.1082|
Cal Water maintains information about its rates on their website.
Cal Water is governed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. The CPUC is governed by a 5-member Commission. The Governor appoints the five Commissioners, who must be confirmed by the Senate, for six year staggered terms. The Governor appoints one of the five to serve as Commission President.
The Town of Atherton receives a 2% franchise fee from Cal Water and for Fiscal Year 2013/14 was $116,167. For FY 2014/15 projected Cal Water franchise fees are $122,590 and approximates to $6,129,500 in revenue derived from Atherton.
Bear Gulch District
3525 Alameda De Las Pulgas
Menlo Park, CA 94025
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Email Bear Gulch District
After-Hours Phone Number
Automated Payment Number
Payment Mailing Address
P.O. Box 940001
San Jose, CA 95194-0001
Local Manager (Bayshore/Bear Gulch)