Investment Adds More Electric Trains, Onboard Wi-Fi & Station Improvements
Today, the California State Transportation Agency announced a $164.5 million investment from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program to support Caltrain service improvements including the replacement of Caltrain’s diesel fleet with high-performance electric trains, the addition of Wi-Fi service onboard the system’s new electric fleet, and enhanced bicycle facilities at Caltrain stations.
The funding is being made available thanks to last year’s approval of Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the landmark transportation funding legislation that invests $5.4 billion per year in programs that will fix roads, repair bridges, and improve public transportation services statewide.
"This funding will enhance Caltrain Electrification and improve the rider's experience," said State Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. "I applaud Caltrain and the California State Transportation Agency for their great work and I'm grateful for the Legislature's approval of Senate Bill 1, which is improving transit and roads in our community and throughout the state."
Last year, Caltrain began work on the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project after approval of a $647 million federal grant that fully funded the $2 billion investment. The project improves the frequency, travel time, capacity, reliability, and safety of Caltrain’s rail service by replacing 75 percent of Caltrain’s diesel fleet with modernized electric trains.
New funding awarded today from SB 1 will be used to fully electrify the Caltrain mainline service between San Francisco and San Jose, which will help maximize the benefits of Caltrain Electrification for current and future riders.
In addition to new electric trains, Wi-Fi and bicycle facilities, the grant also invests in the lengthening of boarding platforms at some Caltrain stations to eventually accommodate longer, 8-car electric trains, and provides funding that will be used toward the completion of the Caltrain Business Plan, which is an effort to identify a long-term service vision for the corridor along with a supporting funding strategy. The grant requires Caltrain to identify a $40 million matching investment.
“We are very excited that SB 1 investment is being used to help accelerate these improvements and the important benefits that they will create for Caltrain riders and the communities we serve,” said Jeannie Bruins, Chair of the Caltrain Board of Directors. “Caltrain Electrification is a foundational improvement that creates the potential for Caltrain service to grow in a way that meets our region’s long-term mobility demands, and this investment will help ensure that we maximize that potential.”
The long-term capacity, infrastructure and service-related goals of the system that emerge from the Caltrain Business Plan will require additional investment, and the Business Plan will also identify opportunities to fund the delivery of those improvements.
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 enjoyed more than five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 65,000 average weekday riders. 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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