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The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) earlier this week began the environmental review process for South Bay Connect, a proposed project to relocate the Capitol Corridor passenger-rail service from Union Pacific Railroad’s Niles Subdivision to the Coast Subdivision in Northern California.
The proposed relocation is expected to improve separation of passenger- and freight-rail operations in southern Alameda County and create new transbay connections for travelers between the East Bay and destinations on the peninsula, CCJPA officials said in a press release. Improvements to the rail infrastructure also may be included in the project to accommodate the shift of rail services.
CCJPA has issued a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report and online public scoping meeting for the project.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCJPA has extended the traditional 30-day comment period to 45 days. The scoping meeting will be available online June 29 through Aug. 13.
"Although we are facing unprecedented times with social distancing requirements, public engagement on important projects must continue and is an essential part of the project development process. The virtual engagement tool allows us to reach a much broader audience safely and conveniently by creating a mobile-friendly and accessible online meeting format that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Shirley Qian, CCJPA senior planner and the South Bay Connect project manager.
Qian was named a rail industry Rising Star by Progressive Railroading in 2019.