THIS IS A DRAFT LETTER

(Transcribed from handout - there may be some typos)
(All highlighting by PR2K)
Highlights from Preliminary draft:
  • "It is therefore appropriate that the RTP includes Caltrain electrification from San Francisco to Gilroy as a Track 1 project"
  • "JPB views the Caltrain extension and the reconstruction of the Transbay Terminal as two components of a single project"
  • "Inclusion of Dumbarton Rail Service in the RTP Blueprint is appropriate and will facilitate the realization of this project"

    The letter, in its final form, will be presented to the board at the Monday, October 8 JPB meeting. (note new time) It was indicated that MTC staff would accept the letter after the Sept 30 cut off date.

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    AGENDA ITEM 9
    September 6, 2001
    
    PRELIMINARY DRAFT
    
    PENINSULA CORRIDOR JOINT POWERS BOARD
    
    The Honorable Sharon J. Brown, Chair
    Metropolitan Transportation Commission
    Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter
    101 Eight Street
    Oakland, California 94607
    
    Dear Chairperson Brown:
    
    Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the Draft 2001
    Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for the Bay Area.  The members of
    the Peninsula Corridor joint Powers Board (JPB) recognize that the RTP
    is key to setting long-term transportation strategies investments.
    
    The JPB supports MTCís continued commitment to maintaining our existing
    transit system by giving priority to funding asset replacement and
    rehabilitation.  To ensure that the 25-year baseline to maintain and
    operate Caltrain service is accurate, we request your staff reconcile
    the $747.6 million shortfall in capital costs shown in the RTP Project
    Notebook with the $966.0 million in total costs contained in the
    submittals from the San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara countyís
    Congestion Management Agencies.
    
    The JPB appreciates the importance the draft RTP places on improvements
    to the Caltrain system.  The JPB has devoted extensive effort to
    identifying a strategy to maximize the publicís investment in this key
    rail transportation corridor.  This strategy has been translated into
    specific projects and programs through our Rapid Rail Plan and Caltrain
    Express project.  The travel time and frequency enhancements resulting
    from Caltrain Express service and electrification are supported by
    enhanced service from San Jose to Gilroy and extensions to downtown San
    Francisco and Alameda County.  It is critical to Caltrainís success
    that these projects move forward in an integrated fashion.
    
    In apporving the Caltrain Rapid Rail Plan (Resolution No. 1999-27), the
    Joint Powers Board determined that converting Caltrainís existing
    diesel mode to electrification is a top priority.  It is therefore
    appropriate that the RTP includes Caltrain electrification from San
    Francisco to Gilroy as a Track 1 project.  Further definition of the
    project is under study as part of the projectís Environmental
    Assessment/Environmental Impact Report.
    
    Resolution No. 1999-27 also designates the City and County of San
    Francisco as the lead agency for any downtown extension of Caltrain. 
    The city has taken the lead in the preparation of the update to the
    environmental impact assessment and creation of the Transbay Terminal
    Joint Powers Agency, a regional body with JPB representation.  Both the
    environmental study and the new JPA recognize that the Transbay
    Terminal is an integral part of extending Caltrain downtown.  The JPB
    views the Caltrain extension and the reconstruction of the Transbay
    Terminal as two components of a single project. The RTEP application
    and financial plan prepared by the San Francisco Transportation
    Authority should be the basis for the projectís inclusion in the RTP.
    
    The growing Caltrain service to Gilroy is another important component
    of the system that is included in the RTP.  Resolution 1999-27
    reiterates the JPBís support for its expansion.  The Santa Clara Valley
    Transportation Authority (VTA) continues to take the lead in
    improvements to this element of the Caltrain line.
    
    The JBP has embarked on the Caltrain Express(a.k.a. Baby Bullet)
    project to significantly enhance service with the addition of passing
    (third and fourth) tracks, modifications to stations, and the addition
    of rolling stock.  Phase 1, scheduled for completion in FY 2003, will
    reduce running time from San Jose to San Francisco and increase the
    number of weekday trains from 80 to 120.  Planning for Phase 1
    implementation has enabled the identification of subsequent
    improvements to further enhance Caltrain capacity and operational
    flexibility.  Phase 2 of these improvements should be included as part
    of the Blueprint as a component of the program to continue Caltrain
    upgrades.
    
    Rail service in the Dumbarton Corridor is a project that has received
    support from San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties.  The JPB has
    indicated a willingness to operate this service once a funding plan is
    in place.  Inclusion of Dumbarton Rail Service in the RTP Blueprint is
    appropriate and will facilitate the realization of this project.
    
    The JPB looks forward to working with the MTC on improvement to the
    Caltrain system to realize the full potential of the rail corridor for
    the peninsula and the region.
    
    Sincerely,
    
    
    Michael J. Scanlon
    Executive Directory