Coast Rail Coordinating Council (CRCC)

In October of 2018, after 25 years of planning as a consensus-building coalition, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC), Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), and Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) formalized their relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding establishing themselves as the Coast Rail Coordinating Council (CRCC). The mission of the CRCC is to improve the frequency, speed, reliability, and ease of use of passenger trains on the coastal route between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“This is an important step toward planning and implementing robust passenger rail service along the Central Coast and throughout California,” said former Monterey County Supervisor Dave Potter. “Improving routes, frequency, and schedules along our coast will provide locals, tourists, and commuters with a breadth of transportation options for exploring the Central Coast and California as a whole, while also boosting economic development for many coastal communities that need it.”

Recent CRCC actions include: working with the Caltrans Rail Program, Amtrak, and Union Pacific to initiate a new train from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles; working with Caltrans to program $11.3 million in Federal Railroad Administration grant funds to design and install positive train control (PTC) signal systems at 30 existing control points and 111 intermediate signal locations from Oakland to San Luis Obispo; and two rail extension projects already underway to ease commuting congestion on U.S. Highway 101 and encourage tourism. The Salinas rail extension project will offer two weekday round-trip passenger trains from Salinas to Gilroy, San Jose, and San Francisco. The Grover Beach rail extension project will incorporate a bus passenger loading/unloading area, additional parking, and improved accessibility, providing direct connections to San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and San Diego on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service.


Background

In 1992, through the passage of Assembly Resolution 39, State legislators requested that coastal transportation planning agencies prepare an upgrade study for the Pacific Coast Railroad Route between downtown Los Angeles and downtown San Francisco. Six transportation agencies from coastal counties (Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Cruz) produced the following documents and studies:

  • Coast Corridor Service Development Plan - May 2013

  • Coast Daylight Brochure– 2007 updated version of new LA-SF service plan.

  • Coast Rail Capacity Analysis – 2005 ( Washington Group) identifies capital improvements required

  • 20 Year Rail Improvement Plan Summary Report– 2001 (Amtrak)

  • Coast Daylight Implementation Plan -2000 (Wilbur Smith & Associates) an operating plan for new train services on the Coast Route

  • Southern Pacific Coast Route Infrastructure Report  - 1996 (HDR) was completed which concluded that fairly significant time savings could be achieved by upgrading the corridor and using “tilt-train” technology.

  • Coast Rail Improvement Study - 1994 (Schiermeyer) 


Organizational Structure

The CRCC includes a Technical Committee which is made up of staff members from the various agencies, and a Policy Committee which is made up of elected officials (or previously elected officials) from each of the agencies. Meetings alternate between the Technical and Policy Committees. The Technical Committee typically meets six times per year, and the Policy Committee meets four times per year. The locations of the meetings are rotated north and south along the corridor. San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) has taken on the responsibility for staffing the CRCC. In 2001, Policy Committee representation was expanded to include additional representation from the San Francisco Bay Area, the railroads, and commuter rail agencies.

During Amtrak’s development of the Master Plan for California in 2001, Policy Committee representation was expanded to include additional representation from the San Francisco Bay Area, the railroads, and commuter rail agencies. 


Current Work Efforts

The CRCC acts as an interregional forum to discuss all intercity rail issues of mutual concern, including, but not limited to; the intercity rail plans, local and state rail plans, freight railroad issues, and capital improvement projects. Primarily, the CRCC is working with the Caltrans Rail Program, Amtrak and Union Pacific to initiate a new train from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles – the Coast Daylight train. Same day funding is included in the California State Rail Plan for Coast Daylight services, and resolutions of support have been collected from 20 supporting agencies, and state legislators.


Participating Agencies

Member agencies include: SLOCOG, SBCAG, SCCRTC, TAMC, and VCTC. Other participating agencies include: Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).


Current Meetings & Agendas

For the latest Coast Rail Coordinating Council meeting dates and agendas, please visit SLOCOG.ORG/CRCC.

 

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