.Letter to the Editor: Keep Train Option

Thank you for the “Growing Pains” article (GT, 8/25). Great reporting. Showed many takes on what is at stake. 

Greenway is an organization that promotes removing the rails from the train right of way. I heard that the financial backing comes from some big ag interests. They stand to gain acreage from the right of way along ag land in Watsonville area if trains no longer use it. My supervisor, Manu Koenig, was strongly connected to Greenway before he ran for office. Greenway promoted a successful City of Capitola measure three years ago which attempted to stifle plans for keeping the trains on the right of way. 

I favor keeping train options on the right of way, knowing what commute problems exist on Highway One. 

Pam K.


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  1. I’m surprised at Good Times. They usually vet (sometimes) these Letters To The Editor. The entire above letter is false, misleading, and scurrilous. This is typical FORT maneuvering and propaganda. Let’s do an investigative piece on FORT: Who backs them with money, who their main players are, how many FORT members live near/on the Branch Line and would benefit. Please Good Times, do better. Thank you!

  2. Thank you, Pam,

    Every study conducted since 2015 has increasingly proven the benefits of rail transit and trail as the best and highest use of our rail corridor. This hasn’t stopped Greenway from packing the RTC with two Greenway votes: Manu Koenig who left his post as Greenway Executive Director to become Supervisor, and Dr. Rob Quinn, appointed to vote on behalf of Supervisor Friend. Until May, Dr. Quinn was listed as a member of the Board of Greenway. One can’t help but wonder if there’s a conflict of interest, and if they should be recused from votes on the rail corridor plans.

    We must follow the science and follow the lead of President Biden and our neighboring counties, all of which are expanding transit to create a robust rail network. Monterey County is building a Salinas to Gilroy extension that includes a station where our rail line connects at Pajaro. We’ll be able to get to all points on the rail network without congestion. Oh, and bikes ride free!

    Rail transit is at our fingertips and clean battery-electric streetcar service can be implemented for a fraction of the cost of larger systems. Want to see an example of this? Look for the announcement of the Coast Futura demonstration coming in October providing short rides beginning in Watsonville and later rides between the Boardwalk and Capitola! http://www.coastfutura.org

    Rail and trail now!

  3. It’s funny how the author seems to know so much about the mythical financing but ends with “I favor keeping train options on the right of way, knowing what commute problems exist on Highway One.” If “Pam K.” was knowing, they would know that the train option has NO impact on Highway 1 traffic. The rosiest of projections on project a 1.7% reduction in traffic, less than what traffic increases each year. By continuing to waste time on a train that not enough people would ride, we would be better off opening the unused rail corridor up to active transportation and work on better ways to eliminate to improve our transportation issues.

  4. Correct. Greenway is a group bent on removing the rails at ANY cost. If they were truly interested in finishing a trail along the corridor, they would support the rail AND trail plan, which has already built several sections of trail. They can be used right now. Removing the rails would take longer, cost more, and destroy the rail right of way forever.
    Railbanking is a lie. It almost never results in rails being reinstalled later. The rails are there now. Leave them intact for future rail use, and continue building the trail alongside it.

  5. The Coast Futura demonstration above is to tout an excursion tourist trolley system with billboards on its side. The speed would hardly be called anything useful as a commuter passenger rail. The profits from such a venture would not go to the city, county, or the RTC but to a private corporation while the RTC is on the hook for maintenance and improvements.

  6. Readers beware! Both Jack Brown and Don Honda are notorious Greenway trolls, constantly lurking in cyberspace to propagandize against the public rail transit project, and against public interests in general. They should be summarily disregarded.

  7. You now have the opportunity to vote to keep the rails Pam K. You would not of had that if your tyrannts had their way. And BTW, the Train will cost taxpayers over $1 billion dollars. I’m assuming you like dictator wasting money just like Biden has wasted trillions with his Afghanistan disaster, the border, and everything else he touches. The right of way could have been used as a bike path for the past 10 years for an amount that is chump change to your favored boondoggle.

  8. LOL Jim Weller doesn’t like anyone speaking their truth and disparages them if he disagrees in the slightest. Here he is in usual form of not attacking ideas, statements, or facts but, knowing he has no valid argument, he resorts to personal attacks and slander—much like most FORT members. There’s a reason Gary Patton smacked them on the wrist for resorting to such while spreading mis- and dis-information about the rail, the trail, the RTC decisions, funding that is NOT available. I’m again surprised at Good Times for not keeping with their policy of not posting ad hominems—-Why, oh why, Good Times have you let us down again?

  9. CORRECTION: Gary Patton was meant to be Supervisor Bruce McPherson, who was formerly for the Train idea. Now he is rethinking for plans that are realistic, practical and useful.


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