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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Bay Area long-range plan includes Caltrain electrification


A 25-year transportation plan for California’s nine-county Bay Area features a host of rail projects, including the electrification of Caltrain, Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board’s Caltrain commuter-rail line.

Issued Aug. 14 by Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the proposed $81.7 billion plan outlines how projected federal, state and local transportation funds should be invested over the next 25 years. About $74 billion is committed to maintaining existing infrastructure or to voter-approved projects; the remaining $7.7 billion would be set aside for projects such as the Caltrain electrification.

Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in 1991 purchased the San Francisco-to-San Jose, Calif., Caltrain corridor from Southern Pacific Railroad, assuming operations in mid-1992. Since then, Caltrain ridership has grown 50.8 percent; average weekday ridership, 57.6 percent.

MTC and local transportation agencies still are working to identify funding sources for several projects, such as building a Bay Area Rapid Transit extension to San Jose, a people-mover connection to Oakland International Airport and a light-rail connection to San Francisco’s Chinatown.

MTC is accepting public comments on the plan through September.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/17/2001