California Awards $38.7 Million to Enhance Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner Service

WHY IT RATES: Amtrak’s presence in California is about to get a major makeover.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.

The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service, was awarded $38.7 million to fund a package of projects that will expand and improve passenger rail service in southern California, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced today.

The funding is part of the 2020 Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), which will provide a total of $500 million to projects statewide that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by improving rail and transit services. The TIRCP program is funded through Senate Bill (SB) 1 and proceeds from the state’s Cap and Trade program. CalSTA received 45 applications from rail and transit agencies throughout the state requesting nearly $2.5 billion in 2020 TIRCP funding.

“Thanks to the support of CalSTA and the funding provided through SB 1, we will be able to make much-needed improvements on both ends of the LOSSAN corridor that will allow us to continue expanding and growing our service on the second-busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the nation,” said LOSSAN Agency Chairman Al Murray.

The $38.7 million grant includes funding to construct a Central Coast Layover Facility in San Luis Obispo, to design and construct a new maintenance and layover facility in San Diego that will allow overnight storage and servicing of Pacific Surfliner equipment to be relocated from the Santa Fe Depot to a new location in National City, and also to help overhaul and modernize the Pacific Surfliner railcars.

“This investment by the state will allow for additional rail service along the entire corridor and help to encourage ridership growth by providing new facilities in both San Luis Obispo and San Diego where we can more effectively manage Pacific Surfliner equipment and operations,” added LOSSAN Agency Managing Director Donna DeMartino.

Several other rail and transit agencies in southern California were also successful in receiving 2020 TIRCP grants for projects that will enhance connectivity with the Pacific Surfliner service on the LOSSAN rail corridor.

SOURCE: Amtrak press release.

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