As an engineer with a patent for an All-Express Passenger Train System, I am 100% certain that the compromised Santa Cruz County version of Rail-Trail would be a mistake.
After getting educated, even the TIG group rescinded their promise to provide passenger service between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, now only promising to provide “service” between the Boardwalk and Capitola Village. While it may have looked sleek standing still, the latest demonstration from this for-profit group couldn’t even prove that their “wannabe bus” could safely move faster than the 10 mph limit. Regardless of that concern, it exposed the fact that everyone could see—the best that one would ever get with any transportation means restricted to a single railroad track (predetermined over 100 years ago) is that it cannot get closer than a quarter of a mile to key destinations.
Those passengers less fortunate than us who cannot walk that challenging last quarter of a mile down and back up a steep hill must transfer to a more flexible means of transportation (like an electric bus). Rather than dealing with inconvenient transfers, why not use common sense and replace the slice of that very limited single train track segment with a surface usable by all that could be allocated for an electric bus to actually expeditiously travel the full distance between the Boardwalk and Jade Park in Capitola, then easily travel directly into Capitola Village. (Such a strategic Bus-Trail is just one possible improvement over Rail-Trail and can be built upon the solid foundation of the flexible Trail-Only.)
While the for-profit TIG arrangement may have hooked up with the beloved twice a day Roaring Camp Tourist service in Felton, regular passengers would probably prefer two less time-consuming transfers that would be possible with something better than a compromised Rail-Trail.
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