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A California interregional policy board recently formed to study ways to improve passenger-rail service along the state's Central Coast.Five agencies announced this week they had signed a memorandum of understanding to establish themselves formally as the Coast Rail Coordinating Council (CRCC). They are: the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments; Santa Barbara County Association of Governments; Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission; Transportation Agency for Monterey County; and Ventura County Transportation Commission.The council's mission will be to "improve the frequency, speed, reliability and ease of use of passenger trains on the coastal route between San Francisco and Los Angeles," CRCC officials said in a press release.Although coalition members had been engaged in consensus building on passenger-rail issues for more than two decades, the MOU formalized the relationship.“This is an important step toward planning and implementing robust passenger-rail service along the Central Coast and throughout California,” said former Monterey County Supervisor Dave Potter.Issues of mutual concern to be discussed include intercity rail plans, local and state rail plans, freight railroad issues and capital improvement projects. The member agencies' planning staffs will meet regularly, and the council's Policy Committee will meet four to five times a year, CRCC officials said.
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