Upon Thursday’s Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) 6-6 vote not to pursue funding for a train on the rail corridor, Friends of the Rail Trail (FORT) announced that this “vote serves as an alarm bell for anyone in our community who is concerned about climate change, air pollution, South County commuters stuck in traffic, bike-plus-transit commuters, or seniors and disabled riders in need of more public transit options.”
Really? Too bad FORT and their offshoot Coast Connect never heard of Santa Cruz County METRO, Lift Line and ParaCruz, which address all these concerns. And guess what? We already have them in service with no requirement for additional county taxes or “state and federal dollars,” as does a train. METRO already “address[es] social equity, environmental sustainability and economic justice in transportation” with their new electric buses. Now! Not in 20 years!
Additionally, FORT notes that this “vote at the RTC may result in delaying construction of the highly popular Rail Trail that is already underway.” Actually, the excessive cost of excavation, concrete retaining walls, and heritage tree removals due to construction that detours around the tracks and requires retrofitting the trestles is what has been delaying the “highly popular Rail Trail!”
Nadene Thorne | Santa Cruz
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