.Letter to the Editor: Save Rail

In recent letters, I’ve read the opinions of several against any future light electric rail.

We have Measure D funds going to more widening of Highway 1 (you will hate what that looks like) the government has provided over $1 million for two electric buses. In the blink of an eye, the highway will be maxed out, buses will be stuck on it and if rail is foregone for a trail only, our problem of gridlock will worsen every year. The population here has tripled since 1964. I can understand the concerns of light rail here but the line is all of ours so it should be used in the best possible manner for all. Don’t forget also the deadly flood and killer earthquake that shut us off from the outside world, and which the rails continued to provide transport. We need the rail to be returned to service for residents and visitors alike.

Frank Rimicci Jr. | Corralitos

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  1. Frank Rimicci seems to forget that the rail is not immune from disasters as well. We are nearly 5 years past from the winter of 2017 and yet the rail is still unusable due to fallen trees, mudslides and erosion. Fires in the northbay shut down SMART as power was shutoff and rail crossings were non-functional and we have over 40 rail crossings between Watsonville and Santa Cruz.
    There is also nothing wrong with Measure D funds being used to widen the highway, improve existing rapid transit and bike infrastructure, that is what it was setup for. What it was not setup for was to create a rail system in Santa Cruz. Frank and his merry band of rail extremists seem to confuse what voters voted for. There is no language whatsoever in Measure D to create rail. Only to perform a study (Study is complete and found fiscally non-viable) and to maintain the corridor. Grants provided for 4 electric buses from Proterra, 2 have been delivered and are starting service in Watsonville and 2 more are on the way. These can be used with a Bus on Shoulder solution that provides faster transit times, cheaper fares and can scale to the needs of the county. A train, stuck on a single track meandering through areas that were logical 150 years ago to move timber, produce, livestock and coal do not make sense in the 21st century. The train has left the station and it’s time for the rail extremists and lobbyists to stop holding the corridor hostage for their selfish reasons that only would move 2% of commuters at best while bikers and pedestrians are dying on our roadways. It’s time to get Santa Cruz moving with a plan that can be implemented in 5 years, not 20+ years and one billion dollars by the rail lobby.

  2. Per usual, FORT member Frank Jr. is being misleading. Rail will NOT impact traffic congestion very much. If there is a major earthquake, rail will probablyy be disrupted as well. Measure D funds is FOR buses and Hwy 1. There is no $$ for any new passenger rail system in this measure.


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