San Joaquin, ACE improvements subject of public hearing

Written by Carolina Worrell, Managing Editor
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Assemblymember Adam C. Gray, who represents California’s 21st Assembly District (Merced County and portions of Stanislaus County) and serves as the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Rail, will be hosting a  public hearing on  passenger rail services in the San Joaquin Valley on Friday, August 21, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the Modesto City Council/Stanislaus County Chambers in downtown Modesto. The focus of this hearing will be on "promoting the near-term improvement and expansion of the successful San Joaquin and Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) rail services," according to a statement released by Gray’s office.

The San Joaquin service connects the San Joaquin Valley to Sacramento and the East Bay and serves 1.2 million passengers annually. ACE connects the San Joaquin Valley to the East Bay and Silicon Valley and serves nearly 1.3 million passengers year. “While both services reduce congestion on the roads and highways and improve air quality, they are in need of infrastructure improvements to increase the frequency of service, reduce travel times, improve safety and on-time performance, serve new markets, and provide economic benefits to the region,” according to Gray.

The ACE expansion program aims to extend the service to the downtowns of Ripon, Manteca, Modesto, Turlock, Livingston or Atwater, and Merced. Senator Cathleen Galgiani and Senator Anthony Cannella (members of the Senate Select Committee on Passenger Rail) and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen “are strong supporters of San Joaquin and ACE rail services and will be joining Chair Gray as participants in this important hearing,” said Gray. “The purpose of the public hearing is to promote the San Joaquin and ACE services and their proposed improvement programs and build understanding and support of both services. Strong San Joaquin Valley support is expected to be essential in obtaining the needed funding to significantly improve and expand these services within the next five to 10 years. This special public hearing will provide a chance for local leadership and community representatives to provide input.”

“I’m looking forward to holding the event in Modesto, Calif. This is a great opportunity for people in the valley to directly express their support for expanding rail service in the valley,” said Gray. “There is a lot of excitement here as rail improvements and expansions can mean new travel options for residents and jobs for our local economies.”

A welcome by Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh will precede the hearing, which will also include testimonials from key community members, business leaders, and local elected officials. They will discuss their experience, the benefits of rail service, and the potential to enhance economic development through expanded rail service in the San Joaquin Valley. The public will also have the opportunity to provide input .

Categories: Commuter/Regional, Intercity, Passenger Tags: , , ,