A Santa Cruz County Beach Line?

Along with the voters of Santa Cruz County, BATWG hopes that a passenger rail system operating along the Santa Cruz Beach line, initially between the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Watsonville, would constitute the best use of the existing rail right-of-way.

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But would the project be cost effective and could the job be done without creating another of the Bay Area’s infamous transportation boondoggles? Unless the Santa Cruz project could be shown to be both financially feasible and genuinely useful, it shouldn’t leave the starting gate. To get this critically important question answered quickly and relatively inexpensively, the first step should be to prepare a conceptual engineering study including a professionally-prepared conceptual cost estimate.

To avoid the grotesque transit agency funding misallocations that have plagued the Bay Area for a half century, it is essential that the objective facts be on the table before people start climbing on band wagons.

2 thoughts on “A Santa Cruz County Beach Line?

  1. There was a business plan with projections that the cost would be $1.3 billion. There hasn’t been a vote for financing the operation of the project, either. Millions of dollars and twenty years have already been committed to this project. It’s only money. Time passes.


    • Dear Mr. Stanger,

      We realize that there are strong feelings as to how the Beachfront right of way should be used. The Bay Area is full of examples of where and how scarce transportation funding has been misdirected or otherwise wasted because people have jumped on political band wagons before the facts were at hand. First, there should be a clear and comprehensive conceptual description of the project including a professionally-prepared conceptual cost estimate. Absent the irrelevant blather and wasted time, this kind of a study could be completed in three or four months at a relatively modest cost. At that point everyone would have a clearer view of the feasibility or lack thereof of the various proposed alternatives.

      Gerald Cauthen,
      for BATWG


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