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Historic Agreement Reached To Fund Caltrain Electrification

An agreement has been reached to electrify Caltrain from San Jose to San Francisco, using early investment High-Speed Rail funds, but will Bay Area HSR opponents take notice?
March 30, 2012, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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[Updated February 15, 2017.]

The memorandum of understanding approved this week by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission board calls for local and regional entities to provide funding for just over half the $1.5 billion agreement. The state's High Speed Rail Authority would provide $706 million from the 2008 Prop 1A bond monies.

"The agreement was heralded by various Metropolitan Transportation Commission board members, local officials and Caltrain advocates as a huge step toward electrification, a project that the cash-strapped agency is banking on for long-term financial stability. With electrified tracks and a new signal system, Caltrain would be able to operate more trains and, as a result, generate more revenue," reports Gennady Sheyner.

"This really is the foundation for electrification and, really, for the future of Caltrian," said MTC board Chair Adrienne Tissier, who also chairs Caltrain's board of directors.

Will the agreement appease Peninsula high speed rail critics?

"For the rail authority, the new agreement provides a way to appease some of its critics on the Peninsula, where opposition to the project has been particularly fierce. Palo Alto in December adopted as its official position a call for termination of the high-speed rail project. It has also joined Menlo Park, Atherton and a coalition of nonprofit groups in a lawsuit that challenge's the rail authority's environmental analyses for the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles project," writes Sheyner.

The Authority has decide whether to agree to the MOU at it April 5 meeting.

Thanks to Palo Alto On-line news

[The post was updated to reflect the correct, $706 million, figure in the lead paragraph.]

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Published on Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Palo Alto Online News
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