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Caltrans Seeks Feedback on State Rail Plan

Hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20 in downtown L.A. to hear vision for freight, passenger and high-speed rail in California.

Caltrans, which manages two of the nation’s busiest passenger rail lines, is asking its rapidly growing passenger base what they think about rail systems in the Golden State.

The department is hosting five public open houses and a statewide webinar this month to solicit input on the draft California State Rail Plan (CSRP), which will lay out a vision for freight, passenger and high-speed rail in the state. The draft plan is available at californiastaterailplan.com and comments can be submitted through March 11.  

The hearing in Los Angeles is next Wednesday, Feb. 20.

"Each year, nearly six million passengers ride the trains in California," said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. "It’s important that we find out what our citizens have to say about rail, because their input will help us build a truly connected California."

Ridership on California trains is up 56 percent since 2002, and California has about 18 percent of all Amtrak riders.

"The authority looks forward in working with Caltrans and our local partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that invests in urban, commuter, intercity and high-speed rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs,” said Jeff Morales, CEO of California High-Speed Rail Authority.

To review the draft plan and comment, attend any of the events listed below. If you can’t attend a meeting in person, you can participate in the online webinar.

  • San Diego: Feb. 19, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Caltrans District 11 San Diego Office Building, 1st Floor Conference Room.
  • Los Angeles: Feb. 20, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza
  • Fresno: Feb. 21, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Hugh M. Burns State Building, Assembly Room 1036 
  • Webinar: Feb. 26, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Online Webinar, event password: RailPlan1

The final plan (scheduled to be issued this summer) will fully integrate California’s future high-speed rail system with existing and proposed conventional rail systems. The plan will serve as a basis for federal and state investments for high-speed and intercity passenger rail in California and will also describe the existing conditions of the state’s rail systems and the economic and environmental benefits of improvements.

DMS February 16, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Just what I want, a single system to rely on and when an earthquake hits, and earthquake damage puts the system offline, then we get NO PRODUCTS until the timely quick working dedicated CALTRANS workers get it fixed! I don't think I can watch another CALTRANS Project get started in a flurry of activity when the state funds the project only to stand dormant until they get close to the 'end' date' (DETOUR Construction from 01-01 thru 02-28) and then we see some activity as the project gets close to it's stated 'ed date' and ends up running over by weeks/months. (in the above case likely March 29th, usually about 30% overrun in time and don't even ask about the cost overruns!)
Pete Best February 19, 2013 at 12:33 PM
DMS you don't need an earthquake to hit to take the system off line and put it out of commission. That will be a daily occurrence. The real crime here is it's going to take 30 years to build it. Those unions are going to make a fortune off the stupid California taxpayers.
Diane SALTZBURG February 21, 2013 at 04:08 PM
I do not know anyone who has faith in Cal Trans to build/manage an efficient product - they are a joke - bullies - they do not care about public opinion - they allocate our money to ruin our lives - not one success story/project. the people running the show have no education in city planning - the board are Appointees - not experts with a successful paper trail. the fact that the lines do not run on time, are regularly being shut down because there isn't enough electricity, that the buses never run on time, that they have to replace cars on the lines because they are in disrepair, not kept up, etc., etc., - maybe Cal Trans should concentrate on cleaning up all the messes they have created. Unfortunately, they have an open checkbook and no conscience. diane

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