Friday, March 01, 2013

Monterey County eyes extended Capitol Corridor

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Monterey County, Calif., is considering a proposal to extend rail service roughly 60 miles south of San Jose, in Santa Clara County, to Salinas, Calif.—in essence adding to the heavily used Capitol Corridor intercity rail service area.

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) has unanimously approved principles of agreement with the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority to establish a rail service extension south from Santa Clara County by 2017. The Joint Powers Authority oversees the 170-mile, eight-county Capitol Corridor, operated by Amtrak, which serves Sacramento, Oakland (San Francisco), and San Jose.

TAMC's plans call for a $135.7 million project to extend rail service from Santa Clara County south to new stations in Watsonville, Pajaro, and Castroville, terminating in Salinas. TAMC has secured $45 million in state, local, and federal funding, and is seeking $75 million more in federal Small Starts funding.

According to a TAMC staff report, service would start with two daily round trips, and expand to up to six trips per day as demand grows.