Earlier today, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced that Caltrain Modernization would receive one of 14 grants awarded to projects that focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the state’s public transportation infrastructure.
The $20 million investment will be used to deliver the electrification project, which will replace Caltrain’s diesel equipment with high-performance electric trains that will deliver faster, more frequent service along the Peninsula corridor while significantly reducing emissions. Caltrain projects that the electrification project will reduce emissions by 97 percent by 2040, and reduce greenhouse gases by 176,000 metric tons of CO2 a year.
“The state of California has shown a decades long commitment to Peninsula rail service. First by stepping in to directly operate the service in the early 80’s and later as a partner in infrastructure investment as the service has grown under the leadership of the Joint Powers Board,” said Caltrain’s Executive Director Jim Hartnett. “I want to thank Governor Brown for his commitment to investing in public transportation infrastructure and for helping to ensure Caltrain remains a vital component of Bay Area public transportation.”
Caltrain electrification is projected to cost $1.98 Billion. $713 million of the total funding will be provided through the State / California High Speed Rail Authority.The program will also be funded through a combination of federal, regional and member agency contributions.
Yesterday,Caltrain’s congressional delegation announced that the electrification project was one of two projects accepted into the engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration Core Capacity Program. That program is expected to provide $643 million towards the project.
Caltrain’s electrification project was among 41 applications for the state funding program,only 14 were selected. Those projects will receive a combined $390 million in state Cap and Trade funds. Those funds will be supported by auction proceeds from eight auctions that will be held over the course of the next fiscal year.
The region’s business leaders shared their support for the grant award and the progress toward electrification on behalf of the Caltrain Commuter Coalition (C3). C3 was founded by the Bay Area Council, SAMCEDA, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to advocate for improved service and expanded ridership capacity on the Caltrain system. C3 represents more than 20 of the Bay Area’s largest employers. For more information visit, www.caltraincoalition.com.
C3 Leaders Comment On FundingAnnouncement
"Electrifying Caltrain is essential to protecting our local economy, our quality of life, and our environment. Fully electrified Caltrain will almost double the capacity for passengers, dramatically reduce travel times, and get more people out of their cars,” said SAMCEDA CEO Rosanne Foust.
“This is truly an exciting milestone that our members have been looking forward to for along time,” said Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman.“Electrifying Caltrain will bring immediate benefits to Peninsula Commuters and will provide the foundation for other major improvements including the extension of rail service to the Transbay Transit Center under construction in Downtown San Francisco.”
“This is a transformative moment for transportation in the Bay Area,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group President and CEO Carl Guardino. “This project means more commute options and faster travel times for thousands of current Caltrain riders and it allows the system’s ridership capacity to grow, preparing the corridor to connect to new BART stations in San Jose and Santa Clara.”
The Caltrain Electrification Project will electrify the system between San Francisco and the Tamien Station in San Jose and convert Caltrain’s diesel-based system to Electric Multiple Units (EMUs). The electrification project will reduce diesel emissions in this corridor by 97 percent by 2040, will allow Caltrain to provide more service to more stations, increasing ridership and providing faster service between San Francisco and San Jose.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain has enjoyed four years of consecutive monthly ridership increases,surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday rider. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor by 2020, reducing diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and adding more service to more stations.