The Rail Passenger Association of California took several positions regarding current rail passenger issues at its Board meeting July 8, 2006, in Oakland.
- RailPAC vigorously supports the startup of the Coast Daylight train, which will operate between downtown San Francisco’ s Caltrain Station and Los Angeles Union Station daily. This project has been in the works for many years and RailPAC now calls for the agencies to work quickly so that the train can be implemented within the next 12 months.
- While RailPAC fully understands the problems involving the on time performance of Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, we do not wish to imply acceptance of the status quo. We began our formal protests with this July 8 board meeting, and we join with other rail advocacy organizations in protest of the continued 4 to 12 hour delays due to the Union Pacific’s track and congestion problems that cause these delays. We call on Union Pacific, Amtrak, the states of California, Washington and Oregon, and all the cities affected by the poor performance of this train, to solve this problem in short order.
- The board also took support action on three issues inside California, and will consider other issues at future meetings.
- Support Santa Barbara County Measure D, that contains money for a startup commuter service on the Coast Line.
- Support Caltrain’s electrification.
- Support the Sonoma-Marin (SMART) project, the long delayed commuter rail line from Cloverdale to Larkspur in those counties.
- RailPAC supports transportation section 1B of the November 2006 Bond issue and we urge our members to consider and support it. This bill, subject to voter approval at the November 7, 2006, statewide general election, would enact the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006 (Perata) to authorize $19.925 billion of state general obligation bonds for specified purposes, including high-priority transportation corridor improvements, State Route 99 corridor enhancements, trade infrastructure and port security projects, schoolbus retrofit and replacement purposes, state transportation improvement program augmentation, transit and passenger rail improvements (including the purchase of badly needed new rail cars for the state’s rail corridors which will add capacity and provide expansion), state-local partnership transportation projects, transit security projects, local bridge seismic retrofit projects, highway-railroad grade separation and crossing improvement projects, state highway safety and rehabilitation projects, and local street and road improvement, congestion relief, and traffic safety.
For more information, contact Richard Silver, RailPAC Executive Director, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 888-508-2640.