JPB turns to Stanford for business plan

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Caltrain at Palo Alto, Calif.

The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB), which manages Caltrain, has authorized execution of an agreement with Stanford University to help further the development of the Caltrain Business Plan.

“The Business Plan’s strategy and scope, which was approved by the JPB in February, will define the long-term vision for the fast-growing commuter rail system that connects San Francisco and Silicon Valley,” the JPB said. “We are collaborating with government agencies, community partners, contractors and stakeholders to explore economic, policy and technical approaches.”

A one-year-long process is anticipated.

Under the new agreement, Stanford’s Land, Buildings & Real Estate (LBRE) group will contribute in-kind technical assistance to support the Business Plan and will help secure independent technical resources. In addition, the JPB and Stanford will collaborate on identifying and developing external sources to help fund the plan. As project lead, the JPB will determine the contents of the final Business Plan in its sole discretion.

The Caltrain Business Plan “will allow the railway to identify a service model that supports long-term regional job and population growth, and surging ridership demand,” JPB said. “This work will involve an exploration of economic, policy and technical approaches that will provide a better understanding of passenger needs and opportunities to maximize the value of Caltrain for local communities.”

The Caltrain Business Plan will also look at long-range opportunities to integrate regional rail services that could traverse and connect to the Caltrain corridor. The final Business Plan will include specific targets for service and capacity growth that will describe how Caltrain should grow to meet market demand.

Work on the Caltrain Business Plan began in spring 2017 after the agency awarded contracts for construction of the Caltrain Electrification project. “When complete, Caltrain Electrification will immediately improve the system’s capacity, service frequency and travel times, but the strategies recommended in the final Business Plan will need to be implemented to fully realize the benefits that electrification makes possible,” the JPB said.

“We are very excited about collaborating with Stanford University’s LBRE team on the Caltrain Business Plan,” said JPB Chair Jeannie Bruins. “Stanford is a well-respected institution in our community that brings new ideas, resources and perspectives to the conversation.  We welcome the opportunity to work together to create an innovative plan to help shape the future of the Caltrain corridor.”

“Caltrain is a significant transportation resource for Bay Area residents, visitors, workers and students and is a critical component in meeting the region’s transit demands and in managing traffic congestion,” said Stanford LBRE Vice President Robert Reidy. “We look forward to working with Caltrain to plan for a future of connected, high-capacity and financially and environmentally sustainable rail service that meets regional transportation needs.”

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