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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

10/30/2009



Rail News: Passenger Rail

California agency chooses light rail for Monterey corridor, advances commuter-rail project


Earlier this week, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) selected light rail as the locally preferred alternative for the Monterey transit corridor. The 16-mile corridor would extend between Monterey and Castroville, Calif., on publicly owned tracks adjacent to Highway 1.

During the past few years, TAMC has considered bus rapid transit or light rail for the planned corridor. The agency chose light rail because it can “provide superior transportation in the long term, while best meeting the vision and future plans for each of the peninsula cities,” TAMC officials said in a prepared statement. In addition, light-rail vehicles can hold more riders than bus rapid-transit vehicles and rail cars can be added at a nominal cost, officials said.

The first phase of the project — estimated to cost $128.5 million — calls for establishing a light-rail line between Monterey and north Marina with stations in Monterey, Seaside, Sand City and Marina/CSUMB. The line later would be extended to a planned commuter-rail station in Castroville. Light-rail service would be launched in early 2015.

Meanwhile, TAMC approved a $1.4 million contract with Parsons Transportation Group for preliminary engineering and design of a commuter-rail line from San Francisco’s bay area to Salinas. Preliminary designs will focus on Gilroy Yard, the proposed Pajaro and Castroville stations, and a Salinas layover facility and intermodal center. Construction is scheduled to start in 2011.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/30/2009