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NEWS: Interregional Policy Board Established to Improve Passenger Rail Service along California’s Central Coast
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SLOCOG Contact: Anna Devers / adevers@slocog.org
SBCAG Contact: Scott Spaulding / sspaulding@sbcag.org
SCCRTC Contact: George Dondero / gdondero@sccrtc.org
TAMC Contact: Christina Watson/ christina@tamcmonterey.org
VCTC Contact:  Heather Miller/ hmiller@goventura.org

Interregional Policy Board Established to Improve Passenger Rail Service along California’s Central Coast

San Luis Obispo, Calif. (October 24, 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.”
 
This interregional forum discusses intercity rail issues of mutual concern, including, but not limited to, intercity rail plans, local and state rail plans, freight railroad issues, and capital improvement projects. The CRCC member agencies’ planning staff meet regularly, and the CRCC Policy Committee, made up of elected officials (or previously elected officials) chosen to represent each of the member agencies, meets four to five times per year. Agenda items can be accessed on CRCC’s webpage, which is housed on SLOCOG’s website.
 
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.
 
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About SLOCOG
The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) is an association of local governments in the San Luis Obispo region. Its members include San Luis Obispo County and its seven cities (Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo) as well as unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. The central purpose of SLOCOG is to examine common regional problems and suggest solutions. SLOCOG provides transportation planning and funding for the region, and serves as a forum for the study and resolution of regional issues. In addition to preparing the region’s long-range transportation plan, SLOCOG plans and provides funding for public transit services, highway and roadway improvements, and other alternative methods of transportation. For more information on SLOCOG, visit slocog.org.
 
About SBCAG
The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) is a regional planning agency comprised of Santa Barbara County and all eight incorporated cities within the county, including: Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Goleta, Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Solvang, and Buellton. SBCAG distributes local, state, and federal transportation funds and acts as a forum for addressing regional and multi-jurisdictional issues. For more information on SBCAG, visit sbcag.org.
 
About SCCRTC
The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) is an autonomous regional transportation planning agency headquartered in downtown Santa Cruz. Created by the State of California in 1972 to carry out transportation responsibilities that cross city-county boundaries in Santa Cruz County. For more information on SCCRTC, visit sccrtc.org.
 
About TAMC
The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) serves as Monterey County’s regional transportation planning agency and is a state designated agency responsible for planning and financial programming of transportation projects. TAMC’s mission is to develop and maintain a multimodal transportation system that enhances mobility, safety, access, environmental quality, and economic activities in Monterey County. For more information, visit tamcmonterey.org.
 
About VCTC
The Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) serves as Ventura County’s regional transportation planning agency and is a state designated agency responsible for planning and financial programming of transportation projects.  VCTC’s mission is to improve mobility within Ventura County and prioritize funding to meet transportation needs. To fulfill that mission, VCTC establishes transportation policies and priorities ensuring an equitable allocation of federal, state and local funds for highway, transit, rail, aviation, bicycle and other transportation projects.  For more information, visit goventura.org.
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