Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Council's rail plan receives LOSSAN support


A commuter rail plan developed by the Santa Barbara City Council has received unanimous support from the LOSSAN Rail Board, a group of officials representing rail owners, operators and planning agencies from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.
Councilmembers Roger Horton, Grant House and Helene Schneider, joined by First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal presented On-TRAC: A Plan of Transit/Rail Action for Commuters, to the board in Los Angeles yesterday.

“We did receive a unanimous endorsement, and I would say enthusiastically,” House said.
The plan proposes adjustments to Amtrak schedules to correspond with commute times and improvements to the existing rail line, including more double track and electronic rather than manual switching.
House characterized those changes as “baby steps” toward a more elaborate and formal commuter rail concept envisioned in On-TRAC and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments’ 101 in Motion report.
“It’s the initial way that we can begin to get service, especially during the construction that is starting next year along Highway 101,” he said. “…It speaks of what we can do in the short term.”
After developed by the Council’s subcommittee on commuter rail, the On-TRAC plan received unanimous approval from the Council as a whole, as well as the Goleta City Council, the Santa Barbara Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Ventura County Transportation Commission.
House said the plan moving forward is to continue to rally support and touch base with other regional jurisdictions.
“[Getting LOSSAN’s support] is a very important step, but it’s not the end of it,” he said.

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