Commuter Rail Extension to Salinas Gets Funding Boost

Posted by Graniterock on Mar 18, 2015

Reported in the Salinas Californian June 13, 2013   

Written by Jeff Mitchell

The long-awaited effort to establish commuter rail service into Monterey County inched closer to reality this week when the California Transportation Commission approved $18.1 million in funding for track improvements.

Debbie Hale, executive director of the Transportation Agency of Monterey County, said Thursday the money will allow the project to move ahead with track improvements that will first allow Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor commuter rail program to extend service from the Sacramento and the Bay Area into Gilroy. 

Following Gilroy, the plan is then to extend Capitol Corridor service into Salinas. Trains should be in service to both cities sometime in 2018, Hale said. 

On Wednesday night an excited Hale posted the news on her Facebook account.

“(On Tuesday), the California Transportation Commission approved this funding for track improvements to allow our Capitol Corridor Extension to Salinas trains to stop in Gilroy. The Gilroy stop is vital to assuring that our new service has a successful level of ridership. Many thanks to all of the TAMC board members, staff and partner agencies who helped us reach this key milestone.”

Hale said the multimillion-dollar project still needs about $5 million extra in funding in order to pay for facility and track improvements to kick-off a “starter” version of the rail service.

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