Major Transportation Investment Study

Major Transportation Investment Study
completed 1999

In an effort to evaluate a wide range of transportation options to meet the mobility needs of Santa Cruz County both now and in the future, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission conducted a federally required Major Transportation Investment Study or MTIS. This study looked at transportation alternatives inn the Watsonville – Santa Cruz – UCSC Corridor. The Study area is shown on this Map.

Eight different alternatives were examined to compare the transportation capacity, costs, benefits, environmental impacts and transportation impacts.

  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  • Executive Summary from the completed study.
  • A Locally Preferred Alternative was chosen by the Commission on August 5, 1999.

MTIS FINAL REPORT – December 10, 1998

The MTIS is required by the federal government to obtain federal funds to proceed with any major capital improvement. Available reports for this project include the Travel Demand Forecasts and the Transportation Impact Assessments, the Environmental Screening Analysis, and Cost and Revenue Estimates, and the Financial Analysis. The final summary document is now complete and available at most libraries in Santa Cruz County.

Eight different alternatives

The following alternatives scenarios, developed with extensive community input, were analyzed for:

  • environmental and transportation impacts
  • capital and operating/maintenance costs
  • potential use/ridership
  • financial feasibility
  1. Baseline
    Includes the existing transportation network in addition to construction projects in progress and those scheduled/funded, such as the Highway 1/17 interchange and Mission Street/Highway 1 projects.
  2. Transportation Systems Management
    Involves relatively low-cost multi-mode transportation improvements such as improved bus, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, as well as improved ridesharing info.
  3. Widen Highway 1 for Carpool Lanes
    Adds a new lane in each direction on Highway 1 from Highway 17 to State Park Drive. During peak travel times lanes are reserved for carpools and buses only.
  4. Rail Transit to UCSC via Harvey West
    Adds rail transit service from the Watsonville Junction to the University of California, Santa Cruz along the Union Pacific and Big Trees rail lines. New tracks would continue along Harvey West Canyon ending at the campus bookstore.
  5. Rail Transit to Natural Bridges and Harvey West
    Adds rail transit service from Watsonville Junction to Natural Bridges and Harvey West via Front Street in downtown Santa Cruz.
  6. Busway
    Paves the railroad right-of-way from the Park Avenue in Capitola to Bay Street in Santa Cruz for primary use by express and local buses.
  7. Rail Transit to Harvey West
    Same route as alternative 4, but terminating at Harvey West.
  8. Improved Bus Service
    Involves significant expansion of existing bus service to meet the future transportation needs of the corridor including marketing and promotion of this and other ridesharing alternatives.