Seven years from now Caltrain will be a lot quieter, faster and efficient.
That should be the result of the regional agreement approved Thursday by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the agency that owns and operates Caltrain, to fully fund the electrification of the railroad. This means riders could expect to receive better and more frequent service by 2019, while in turn Caltrain gets more passengers and money.
"Today is the day," said Board Chair Adrienne Tissier. "This is the beginning of making sure that we have a cleaner train, a faster train, more service, more stops, less noise and cleaner air."
That's good news for commuters to and from Redwood City, the Caltrain's system fourth busiest station after San Francisco and Palo Alto.
The contract between several local, regional and federal agencies including the California High-Speed Rail Authority will secure for the project.
The agreement based on a "blended system" would make it possible for a between Caltrain and the high-speed tail, a concept first proposed by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park). A larger project would be developed in phases over the next 25 years.
"The recent action taken by the several transit agencies will produce an historic accomplishment—the modernization of Caltrain,” Rep. Eshoo said. "A 21st century system will serve Silicon Valley commuters well, while stimulating local economies and alleviating traffic congestion. This is a huge win for the people of the Peninsula."
The agreement clearly spells out Caltrain’s ownership of the right of way and the agency’s responsibility to represent the needs of the community it serves.
Already approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the next stop for the consideration Caltrain's electrification will be the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the City of San Jose, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Transbay Terminal Joint Powers Board.