Caltrain electrification project gets $20 million state grant

New trains will reduce emissions by 97 percent by 2040, agency estimates

The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced Aug. 17 that it will give Caltrain one of 14 cap-and-trade grants focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the state's public-transportation infrastructure.

Caltrain will receive $20 million in state Cap and Trade funds for its electrification project, which will replace the transportation agency's diesel equipment with high-performance electric trains, allowing Caltrain to provide faster, more frequent service along its 51-mile corridor between San Francisco and San Jose while reducing emissions, according to a news release.

The project, according to CalSTA, will reduce emissions by 97 percent by 2040, and reduce greenhouse gases by 176,000 metic tons of carbon dioxide a year.

"This is a transformative moment for transportation in the Bay Area," Silicon Valley Leadership Group President and CEO Carl Guardino said in a statement. "This project means more commute options and faster travel times for thousands of current Caltrain riders and it allows the system's ridership capacity to grow, preparing the corridor to connect to new BART stations in San Jose and Santa Clara."

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has committed $713 million to the $1.98 billion electrification project, according to the news release. The project will also be funded through a combination of federal, regional and member-agency contributions.

Caltrain's congressional delegation announced Aug. 16 that the electrification project was one of two projects accepted into the engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration Core Capacity Program, which is expected to provide $643 million toward the project.

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