Val­ley Rail Project Re­ceives Grant $$

Escalon Times - - NEWS -

Cal­i­for­nia State Trans­porta­tion Agency of­fi­cials re­cently an­nounced a se­ries of grant awards un­der the Tran­sit and In­ter­city Rail Cap­i­tal Pro­gram (TIRCP), and se­lected the Val­ley Rail Project as a ma­jor awardee, pro­vid­ing $500,500,000 to fund a se­ries of new sta­tions and track im­prove­ments to in­crease con­nec­tiv­ity and fre­quency of ser­vice to the Sacra­mento re­gion. The Val­ley Rail Project is a joint pro­posal by the San Joaquin Joint Pow­ers Author­ity and the San Joaquin Re­gional Rail Com­mis­sion to dra­mat­i­cally im­prove pas­sen­ger rail ser­vice to the Sacra­mento re­gion with both Am­trak San Joaquins and Al­ta­mont Cor­ri­dor Ex­press (ACE) ser­vice.

The Val­ley Rail project will im­ple­ment a new trans­porta­tion vi­sion for serv­ing the Sacra­mento re­gion with in­te­grated in­ter­city and com­muter rail ser­vice. The grant funds will help per­form track im­prove­ments on the ex­ist­ing Union Pa­cific Rail­road Sacra­mento sub­di­vi­sion freight cor­ri­dor that runs just east of In­ter­state 5 to make it us­able for pas­sen­ger ser­vice, and build new shared San Joaquins and ACE sta­tions in Lodi, Elk Grove, Sacra­mento City Col­lege, Sacra­mento Mid­town, Old North Sacra­mento, and Natomas which will in­clude a shut­tle con­nec­tion to the Sacra­mento In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

“This TIRCP grant will rev­o­lu­tion­ize the way that the SJRRC can grow by adding new ser­vice that would now in­clude Sacra­mento for ACE and adding ad­di­tional trains for the Am­trak San Joaquins,” said Steve Dresser, Chair, San Joaquin Re­gional Rail Com­mis­sion. “The State of Cal­i­for­nia rec­og­nizes the im­por­tant part the SJRRC plays in con­nect­ing the Cen­tral Val­ley, Bay Area, and State Cap­i­tal, and we are grate­ful for their sup­port.”

“The Sacra­mento com­mu­nity is very ex­cited about this project,” added Sacra­mento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen. “Right now we have train tracks that run through mid­town with­out pro­vid­ing any ben­e­fit to the lo­cal area. By build­ing a new sta­tion in mid­town we will now tap into that ex­ist­ing in­fras­truc­ture, bringing cus­tomers to our lo­cal busi­nesses, giv­ing busi­ness trav­el­ers ac­cess to the Capitol with­out clog­ging up our roads, and pro­vid­ing new easy ac­cess for our lo­cal res­i­dents to reach key parts of the Bay Area or des­ti­na­tions through­out the Cen­tral Val­ley.”

Ad­di­tional new sta­tions will also be con­structed along the ACE and San Joaquins routes as a re­sult of this award: on the San Joaquins line, new sta­tions will be built in Madera and Oak­ley; on the ACE route, new sta­tions will be built in Ceres, Modesto, Ripon, Man­teca, and North Lathrop.

The TIRCP grant pro­gram re­ceives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from SB 1, the state’s gas tax pro­gram that pro­vides crit­i­cal re­sources to im­prove Cal­i­for­nia’s high­ways and lo­cal streets, bridges, and tran­sit sys­tems – pro­vid­ing broad ben­e­fits to ev­ery com­mu­nity in Cal­i­for­nia.

“This project would not be pos­si­ble with­out SB 1,” said Vito Chiesa, Chair of the San Joaquin Joint Pow­ers Author­ity and Stanis­laus County Su­per­vi­sor. “With this fund­ing, we will be able to move quickly in im­ple­ment­ing an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant trans­porta­tion project that will bet­ter con­nect com­mu­ni­ties, im­prove mo­bil­ity, re­duce con­ges­tion, im­prove air qual­ity, and sup­port a good qual­ity of life.”

The award also in­cludes funds for ACE to pro­cure zero emis­sion buses to sup­port feeder ser­vice be­tween Merced and Ceres, and rolling stock for both cor­ri­dors to sup­port ser­vice in­crease. The grant is co­or­di­nated with 2016 TIRCP in­vest­ments that are al­ready be­ing im­ple­mented in or­der to ex­pand plat­forms to ac­com­mo­date longer 10-car trains to add ca­pac­ity on the four ACE round trips that cur­rently cross the Al­ta­mont Pass.

“Im­proved pas­sen­ger rail is an in­te­gral part of Sacra­mento and the Val­ley’s re­gional trans­porta­tion net­work. It is es­sen­tial to sup­port travel and eco­nomic growth in this in­ter­con­nected econ­omy, and con­nect com­mu­ni­ties in ways that are con­ve­nient and sus­tain­able,” said Chiesa.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.