Big Step in Caltrain Modernization, Electrification
The electrification and modernization of one of the region’s critical mass transit systems, which has been among the Bay Area Council’s signature policy efforts, reached a major milestone this week with the release of a final environmental impact report. The Caltrain Modernization Project will expand capacity to accommodate future ridership growth, alleviate traffic congestion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 176,000 metric tons annually.
The Council was instrumental in securing a state commitment of $720 million from Proposition 1A high speed rail bond funds to pay for the project, and has partnered the San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) and Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) to form the Caltrain Commuter Coalition (C3) to collectively advocate for these improvements. A 2013 Bay Area Council Economic Institute study found the project would generate $2.5 billion in economic benefits and support almost 10,000 jobs. The Caltrain Board of Directors is scheduled to review and approve the Final EIR on Jan. 8, 2015 and the Council will be voicing its support. To engage in our transportation policy work, contact Vice President Michael Cunningham.