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California State Rep. Adam Gray (D-Merced) on Friday will hold a public hearing on existing passenger-rail services in the San Joaquin Valley.The meeting will focus on promoting near-term improvement and expansion of San Joaquin and Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) rail services, staffers from Gray's office said in a press release.Both services are in need of infrastructure improvements to increase frequency of service and reduce travel times, they said. These improvements also will help bolster safety and on-time performance, serve new markets and provide economic benefits to the region."Strong San Joaquin Valley support is expected to be essential in obtaining the needed funding to significantly improve and expand San Joaquin and ACE rail services within the next 5 to 10 years," Gray said. "This special public hearing will provide a chance for local leadership and community representatives to provide input."Additionally, community members, business leaders and local elected officials will discuss the benefits of rail service at Friday's meeting, which will take place in Modesto, Calif.ACE connects the San Joaquin Valley to the East Bay and Silicon Valley, and serves almost 1.3 million passengers annually.
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