High Speed Rail

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Rep. Eshoo has made modernizing Caltrain one of her highest transportation priorities, recognizing that it is the spine of the Peninsula’s transportation system and needs to be brought into the 21st century. An electrified Caltrain will be more efficient, increase revenue, reduce costs, and reduce pollution. It can also connect to other rail segments to reduce pollution and traffic, improve the movement of goods, and provide more options for the traveling public and businesses.

Caltrain Electrification

Caltrain has served our community for over 150 years, and Rep. Eshoo believes Caltrain electrification is a “win” in both the short and long term. Replacing the diesel trains with electric trains will have an extraordinary environmental impact, reducing pollution by 90 percent and reducing energy consumption by 64 percent.

The Bay Area Council’s economic analysis makes it clear that a modernized, electrified Caltrain will be an economic engine creating more than 8,000 jobs in the Bay Area and even more throughout California. It will also increase real estate values of properties near stations.

Not only are electric trains less expensive to operate, but electric Caltrain service will attract more riders and bring more revenue to help Caltrain reduce its ongoing financial problems. It will also provide relief from traffic congestion, and the time and money wasted sitting in traffic.

Rep. Eshoo’s work:

  • Rep. Eshoo was proud to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation obligated $16 million for the Positive Train Control (PTC) project on the San Jose-San Francisco Caltrain corridor. She has also advocated for this project to receive funding in Fiscal Year 2014. Funding PTC will improve Caltrain’s safety and efficiency, and it is a first major step to upgrade Caltrain to make it a 21st century system.
  • Rep. Eshoo was successful in advocating for $3.2 million in U.S. Department of Transportation grant funds to install an advanced signal system needed to support modernized Caltrain service.
  • Rep. Eshoo, together with former State Senator Simitian and Assemblymember Rich Gordon, initiated a blended system of Caltrain relative to high-speed rail on the San Francisco-San Jose Caltrain Corridor. In this statement, Rep. Eshoo called for smart investments to integrate any future high-speed rail system with an electrified Caltrain.
  • Rep. Eshoo applauded the California State Legislature’s approval of a $1.5 billion funding agreement to electrify Caltrain.
  • Rep. Eshoo, together with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, formed a federal ‘working group’ with the Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, and Members of the Bay Area Congressional Delegation. This group has worked closely with Caltrain and local officials to address HSR issues on the Peninsula to protect Caltrain, the communities it travels through, and develop an acceptable plan for Peninsula communities.
  • Rep. Eshoo wrote an op-ed which was published in the San Francisco Chronicle that outlined her support for Caltrain.

High-Speed Rail

In 2008, California voters passed Prop 1A (Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st century), and approved a plan to create a high speed train system from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Their purpose was to alleviate California’s growing transportation demand and congestion. Since the beginning of the high-speed rail project, Rep. Eshoo has been at the forefront of helping to evaluate how it will impact local communities and critical of HSR’s early plans and their effects on Peninsula communities.

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