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In a move widely hailed as a potential savior for the high-speed rail project in the Bay Area, the Bay Area Council is working to bring the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) into a leadership role in backing a “Hybrid” plan that merges high-speed rail on the Peninsula with the electrification of Caltrain into one project.  The “Hybrid” plan could potentially cut the cost of building high-speed rail in the Bay Area down to $2 billion from $6 billion.  It is a twofer opportunity that would help Caltrain potentially triple its ridership – taking approximately 70,000 vehicles a day off crowded Highway 101 in Silicon Valley – and reduce the state’s cost for high speed rail.  The project could be completed in about five years and there are still funds available.

Early responses to our proposal have been extremely positive.  High-speed rail is the signature infrastructure project that will define the United States in the 21st Century and our ability to work together to make it happen will ensure that we bring to our region not only funding and jobs, but also relief from some of the worst road and flight corridor traffic in the United States.  The Bay Area Council is committed to developing a unified voice of support from the business community around this issue, particularly on the Peninsula.  Over the coming months, we will be working with Alex Tourk of Ground Floor Public Affairs to lead an organizing and public outreach effort, including meeting with local elected officials, stakeholders and members of the business community.  There will be much more to come on this effort, so stay tuned.

Read coverage of the Council’s move here, here, here and here.

Read our letter and the press release here.

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