Friends of the Rail & Trail
Started 1 petition
Approve Rail Transit in Santa Cruz County
For the last 20 years, Santa Cruz County has been working towards implementing clean, fast transit between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, serving all points in between. On April 1st 2021, ignoring the recommendations of Caltrans, the Coastal Commmission, the Santa Cruz City Council, the Watsonville City Council, and many years of work by transit planners including their own staff... The RTC failed to approve the next step! We urge them to revisit this issue.-------The recent vote was for the "TCAA Business Plan for Rail Passenger service in Santa Cruz County," and ended in a 6-6 tie. The TCAA Business Plan gives a 25 year outline for how Santa Cruz County could move forward with adding zero-emissions rail to our local public transportation system. It highlights the new availability of newer affordable green rail options, possible governance structures, many ways we could fund the plan. Caltrans representative has confirmed there are grants available, and more federal and state funds on the horizon. We should be taking advantage of this! There were over 250 emails of support (a 70% majority) for accepting the business plan and move forward. Yet, despite the staff recommendation and strong show of public support, the vote at the April RTC meeting was tied at 6 to 6. These 6 ‘No’ votes were votes to kill the project and abandon planning for rail transportation. For anyone in our community who is concerned about social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic justice in transportation, this should be a giant red flag. We have a lot to lose including our ability to fund this Green New Deal project with the upcoming national infrastructure bill making its way through congress. In study after study rail has been shown to be the best option to expand public transportation in Santa Cruz County because rail has the most funding, will provide the best experience and has the biggest impacts to improving equity and the environment. Investing in green equitable infrastructure is not controversial, it’s a necessity. We need to invest in a zero emission transportation system now! Sign today to tell the RTC Commissioners to apply for funding to make zero emissions light rail a possibility in Santa Cruz County.