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February 7th, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On February 3rd Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and the entire California Democratic Congressional delegation sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, urging her to swiftly approve federal funding for the electrification of Caltrain. A $647 million federal grant for the project has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Secretary Chao must sign off on the funding before March 1st to prevent further delays on the project.
“President Trump recently spoke about infrastructure investment stating that ‘We’ll fix our existing product before we build anything new. We will fix it first because we have a lot of things that are in bad shape.’ We share the commitment of the Administration to upgrade infrastructure that is in disrepair. This project satisfies that priority,” the Members wrote.
The Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP) modernizes the Caltrain Corridor by eliminating outdated diesel trains; increasing ridership; and decreasing pollution. PCEP will create over 9,600 jobs, including 1,300 located outside of California in Jacksonville, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Humble, Texas; Richmond, Virginia and more. State and local funding comprise two-thirds of the total project cost and have been secured, making the project ready for construction. Last month, the FTA completed its rigorous evaluation of PCEP and favorably forwarded the proposed federal grant agreement to Congress for a mandatory 30-day review. The review period will be completed on February 18, 2017, and any further delays beyond March 1st could kill the project. This is neither a Republican project nor a Democratic project. It is a fully vetted upgrade to a critical transportation project that will bring about important economic gains in one of our nation’s most critical corridors—Silicon Valley.
Congresswoman Eshoo led a similar letter to former Secretary Anthony Foxx in support of this project on October 4, 2016. The full text of the February 3rd letter is attached.
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