Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Study: Caltrain electrification will generate jobs

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A study being released Tuesday by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute says California's Caltrain service upgrades, including overhead electrification, "will create thousands of construction jobs, significantly increase property values, and generate billions of dollars in overall economic benefits."

Study backers acknowledge the study's release "comes just ahead of a decision by state lawmakers on high speed rail funding that could provide critical early investment for the electrification and modernization project."

House Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), a supporter and critic of the Golden State's effort to establish a statewide high speed rail network, has scheduled a press conference at Sequoia Caltrain Station in Redwood City, Calif., Tuesday to mark the study's release. Eshoo has pushed for "a blended system that integrates high speed rail with a 21st century Caltrain."

Late last March, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved an agreement for a $1.5 billion plan to electrify Caltrain, install an advanced train-control system, and replace its passenger railcar fleet using a combination of high-speed rail bond money and local, regional, and state transportation funds.