November 21, 2014

Caltrans Seeks Public Input on Statewide Rail Plan

 

LOS ANGELES—Caltrans, which manages two of the nation’s busiest passenger rail lines, is asking its rapidly growing passenger base what they think about rail systems in California.

The department hosted five public open houses and a statewide webinar last month to solicit input on the draft California State Rail Plan (CSRP), which will lay out a vision for freight, passenger and high-speed rail in the state.

The draft plan is available at: http://californiastaterailplan.com and comments may be submitted through March 11.

“Each year, nearly six million passengers ride the trains in California,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “It’s important that we find out what our citizens have to say about rail, because their input will help us build a truly connected California.”

Ridership on California trains is up 56 percent since 2002, and California has about 18 percent of all Amtrak riders.

“The Authority looks forward to working with Caltrans and our local partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that invests in urban, commuter, intercity, and high-speed rail lines to meet 21st Century transportation needs,” said Jeff Morales, CEO of California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The final plan (scheduled to be issued this summer) will fully integrate California’s future high-speed rail system with existing and proposed conventional rail systems.

The plan will serve as a basis for federal and state investments for high-speed and intercity passenger rail in California.

It will also describe existing conditions of the state’s rail systems and the economic and environmental benefits of improvements.