Elected officials and community leaders are rallying in support of Caltrain's $20-million request for federal funding to help electrify and upgrade the performance, operating efficiency, capacity, safety and reliability of the passenger rail service.
The Caltrain Modernization Program is a part of the region’s efforts to meet increasing ridership demand and alleviate local and regional traffic congestion, making it possible to operate quieter, cleaner and more frequent train service to more riders.
The coalition supporting the application for funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s $474-million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program includes several local, state and federal elected officials, along with a broad array of regional transportation agencies and local advocacy groups.
If approved, the $20-million grant would help to fund Caltrain’s Communications Based Overlay Signal System/Positive Train Control (CBOSS/PTC). The signal system also will provide the foundation for the electrification of Caltrain. That project, set to be in operation (it will not be completed, only in operation) in 2019, will allow for faster travel times and/or increased train service to Caltrain stations, while also reducing noise impacts and greenhouse gas emissions. Electrification is also essential for the operation of high-speed rail service in the Bay Area.
Caltrain and a host of regional funding partners including the California High Speed Rail Authority have agreed to deliver $1.5 billion in local, state and federal funding for the electrification and CBOSS/PTC projects. The award of TIGER V funding would help fulfill those commitments.
“The PTC system will improve safety, enable more dependable passenger service, improve grade crossings and enable a future blended commuter rail and high-speed rail system,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein.