The Regional Transportation Commission will soon decide if the Santa Cruz Rail Corridor will be used for passenger rail, or some kind of bus service. They are working on a Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis – but they are only looking at two alternatives – fixed rail and bus.
This web site has frequently made the case that the best use of the corridor isn’t for passenger rail. Many (most!) Aptos residents are likely also opposed to any capital-intensive, low-use projects envisioned in the corridor. Please write to the RTC today at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or via their Contact Us web page.
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Suggested Talking Points for a Message to the RTC
I’m writing to let you know that I OPPOSE the rail transit options and the bus option on the rail corridor. The rail options however are far worse than bus, because…
- Rail transit will not move more people faster nor for less money than bus transit.
- Rail transit is more NOT accessible, less comfortable, and louder for riders and neighbors. It also does not go where people need to go.
- Rail transit will operate in a corridor creating additional traffic congestion in residential neighborhoods, so provides the least reliable service: NEVER on time any time.
- Rail transit CANNOT be implemented sooner than bus transit, it will have NO IMPACT to be able to travel car-free, it WILL NOT lower our emissions, it WILL NOT fight global warming, and will have NO IMPACT to escape traffic congestion sooner.
- Rail banking WORKS and absolutely protects 100% of the existing 32 mile rail corridor from easement threats. The Great Redwood Trail in Northern California is using rail banking for a distance 10 times longer than the Santa Cruz Corridor with not easement threats. The only threat here is from the extremists at the Friend of the Rail Trail.
Choosing rail transit means construction of the Coastal Rail Trail is ALREADY delayed and WILL NOT be completed within 10 years. Plans for the rail trail are shoddy and ridiculously expensive.
Bus Rapid Transit/Bus on Shoulder along Highway 1 offers South County riders the same access to improved public transportation as North County riders, RAIL transit does not. It would also clearly show single occupant vehicle drivers that there isa faster way to Santa Cruz.
Rail transit WILL NEVER double the use of public transportation county-wide. Please use SMART as an excellent example of Rail Transit Failure. You cannot get an entire county to accept the burden of financing public tranportation for 2% of the population.
Rail transit is THE MOST expensive to operate and maintain so, over time, rail transit will BANKRUPT SANTA CRUZ METRO.
Funding to implement passenger rail service is NOT REALISTICALLY identified in the State Rail Plan. With COVID-19, we will also be taking a massive hit to revenue in the county, making paying for such capital intensive projects even less feasible.
Tearing up the existing tracks to replace them with a road for buses or commuter rail would create environmental trauma such as TOXIC CLEANUP FROM DECADES OF PESTICIDES, GREASES and OTHER WASTER along with demolition waste, grading, miles of new pavement, and digging for storm drainage systems. This is minimized by replacing the tracks with an active transportation trail and keeping mass transit on the Highway 1 corridor where it belongs.
Rail provides the LEAST easiest access and minimal amount of bike storage per vehicle (rail 20 or more, most buses can only carry around 3). WE DON’T WANT A PLACE TO STORE OUR BIKES, WE WANT A PLACE TO SAFELY RIDE OUR BIKES!
It doesn’t matter if rail provides the access for wheelchairs if it is difficult to get to the locations to ride the train and to get to a final destination as the centuries old rail line does not pass through any current day employment area, government center or higher learning campus. Rail on a signle track cannot accommodate more people with personal mobility devices.
STOP WASTING OUR TIME WITH THESE STUDIES! STOP THE MADNESS OF RAIL AND THEIR SPECIAL INTERESTS AND BUILD A TRAIL ON THE CORRIDOR NOW!
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