Peninsula Rail Program director leaving 

The plan to run high-speed rail through the Peninsula, already a difficult proposition that has drawn the ire of local communities, could get a little harder.

Engineer Bob Doty, an experienced professional who worked as a liaison between the California High Speed Rail Authority and Caltrain, announced Thursday he was leaving to take a job in the private sector.

Doty’s last official day as director of the Peninsula Rail Program — an entity created specifically to suit his talents — will be Jan. 21. As PRP director, he was responsible for both high-speed rail development on the Peninsula and Caltrain’s efforts to electrify its railway.

“His [Doty] departure means we rethink the structure and the personnel to go forward with high-speed rail,” said Michael Scanlon, executive director of Caltrain. “We entered into the agreement with High Speed Rail to help save Caltrain. We still have to save Caltrain.”

Doty will begin work at HNTB, a private-sector group involved in high-speed rail development. Doty will be the company’s director of high-speed rail programs, although his work will be focused in Florida, according to a Caltrain release. Doty did not reveal details about his earnings at HNTB, but did say it would be significantly larger than his current $178,000 salary, Caltrain officials said.

The 64-year-old Doty has more than 40 years experience in the rail industry, including previous stops at BART and Caltrain (under a different capacity), as well as stints in Taipei, Taiwan, and Korea.

Caltrain is facing a $30 million budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, and is seeking means to find a dedicate funding source for its operations.

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Will Reisman

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