Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1889 in to law, clearing the way for Caltrain’s Modernization Program to receive Prop 1A funding committed in the 2012 budget process.
Prop 1A will provide the bond funding to finance the state’s High Speed Rail Project, which includes early investments in the book end projects to which High Speed Rail will connect in the north and the south.
AB 1889 clarifies that Caltrain’s electrification project is “suitable and ready” for investment and that the investment in the Caltrain system is consistent with the Authority’s current business plan.
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.
“Our transportation infrastructure has many needs and AB 1889 will allow Caltrain to address one of those needs by moving forward with electrification of their system, providing both short and long-term benefits, “ said Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin. "The Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project can't come soon enough for the communities on the Peninsula who have been looking for solutions to traffic congestion. While the list of benefits is lengthy, this project will provide a cleaner, faster, quieter rail system, take cars off our roads significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the quality of life for residents in this region."
“The passage of AB 1889 is another important milestone towards the successful completion of an electrified Caltrain corridor,” said Caltrain’s Executive Director Jim Hartnett. “This bill will play an important role in bringing Caltrain’s system into the 21st century.”
Caltrain awarded a design build contract to Balfour-Beatty and the contract for the manufacture of new electric vehicles to Stadler Inc. The first phase of electrification installation work is expected to commence in 2017.
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 96 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 five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders earlier this year. 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 system, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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