Digest: Comment period in progress for Santa Cruz, Calif., transit proposals

News Wire Digest for Nov. 10: Tri-Rail resumes operation after storm; STB approves Amtrak, Metra request to extend mediation
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This proposed light rail system is one of four options under consideration for a transit corridor in Santa Cruz County, Calif.
Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission

Tuesday morning rail news:

Commuter rail, light rail among alternatives to be weighed for Santa Cruz, Calif., transit project

The comment period for a proposed transit corridor along a rail branch line serving Santa Cruz, Calif., has begun and continues through Nov. 27. Milestone 3 of the Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission seeks to identify the locally preferred choice for the route between Santa Cruz and Watsonville/Pajaro, Calif, from four alternatives: a bus rapid transit line operating on 15-minute headways; a commuter rail service operating on 30-minute headways at peak periods and 60-minute headways off-peak; light rail operating on 30-minute headways; or an autonomous road train operating on 30-minute headways. The options are to be weighed for financial feasibility, equity in providing transit, environmental impact, and other goals including technical feasibility and the ability to integrate into the existing transit system. Details on the options and a public-opinion survey are available here.

Tri-Rail service resumes after two-day shutdown
Miami commuter railroad Tri-Rail has resumed service as of Tuesday morning after a two-day shutdown because of Tropical Storm Eta. According to WPLG-TV, the storm caused minimal damage to the commuter system.

STB approves additional mediation for Amtrak, Metra in Chicago Union Station dispute
The Surface Transportation Board on Monday granted the request of Amtrak and Metra to extend the mediation period for their dispute over Metra’s lease at Chicago Union Station, waiving the specified 30-day limit for mediation and allowing mediation to continue through Dec. 4. Amtrak and Metra asked for the extension in a Nov. 2 letter, saying they have made significant progress in mediation and that the additional time may allow them to resolve more issues [see “Digest: Metra, Amtrak ask to continue mediation of Chicago Union Station dispute,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 5, 2020].

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