Our Rail Conference members run and maintain a commuter system in California called Caltrain. Caltrain is one of the largest commuter systems in the country, moving more than 60,000 people a day.
For the past several years, Caltrain has gone through a rigorous review process to electrify its system, allowing it to move from slow, inefficient, noisy and dirty diesel locomotives to cleaner, faster, more efficient and quieter electric trains. The state of California is investing $1.3 billion to electrify the system. The remaining $600 million needed was to come from the federal government in the form of a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) grant.
After two years work on this project, newly installed Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao delayed final approval of a $647 million federal grant to Caltrain. This delay endangers the electrification of the system that was scheduled to begin this Spring. Delayed approval of the grant puts nearly 10,000 jobs in jeopardy, causes millions of dollars of additional costs and jeopardizes the entire project.
This project is shovel-ready. It could create almost 10,000 jobs in 16 states. It has been through a rigorous two-year review process, and now only needs final approval. This is about modernizing our aging infrastructure, creating jobs and making transportation faster, more efficient and cleaner in one of the nation’s most productive mega-regions.
Please sign the petition asking the White House to approve this grant: