Alternatives Analysis

Alternatives Analysis

In January 2019, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) accepted the Final UCS and Preferred Scenario. One of the outcomes of the UCS was to reserve the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line (SCBRL) for high-capacity public transit adjacent to a bicycle and pedestrian trail. RTC is collaborating with Santa Cruz METRO to perform an Alternatives Analysis to evaluate public transit investment options that provide an integrated transit network for Santa Cruz County utilizing all or part of the length of the rail right-of-way as a dedicated transit facility. A performance-based planning approach based on a triple bottom line sustainability framework will be utilized to assess various public transit options for the rail right-of-way. Transit alternatives will be compared to define a viable project that will provide the greatest benefit to the Santa Cruz County residents, businesses, and visitors in terms of equity, environment, and economy. Proposed future intercounty and interregional connections to the Bay Area, Monterey, Gilroy, and beyond will be considered.


Alternative Analysis Highlights:

  • The rail right of way passes within 1 mile of half of the County’s population and can provide access to 44 schools and 92 parks.
  • Involves the community, partner agencies, the RTC and METRO in the decision-making process to identify a preferred alternative and next steps.
  • Utilizes a performance-based planning approach with a triple bottom line framework of equity, environment, and economy.
  • Develops a strategic business plan for the selected alternative, including a cash flow analysis of environmental clearance, right-of-way, design, construction, operations, and maintenance.
  • A Rail Network Integration Study funded by Caltrans will be performed as part of the Alternatives Analysis.

Alternative Analysis Schedule

October 2019 Consultant Contract Finalized
November 2019 Outreach Plan
December 2019 Goals & Performance Measures
January 2020 Input on Alternatives
September 2020 Draft Results
January 2021 Final Alternatives Analysis Report