Alternatives Analysis

Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis

Overview

In late 2019, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), in partnership with Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO), initiated the next phase of planning for a transit corridor along the existing rail right-of-way that will provide additional travel options, and enhanced access and connectivity for residents, businesses and visitors. One of the outcomes of the Unified Corridor Investment Study, completed in January 2019, was to reserve the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line (SCBRL) for high-capacity public transit adjacent to a bicycle and pedestrian trail. The Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis (TCAA) will 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 locally-preferred alternative that offers the greatest benefit to Santa Cruz County in terms of equity, environment, and economy. Proposed future intercounty and interregional connections to Monterey, Gilroy, the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond will be considered.

 

Alternatives Analysis Process

During the TCAA planning process, project goals, screening criteria and performance measures will be established to screen and then evaluate the performance of each potential alternative quantitatively. Potential transit alternatives will consider mode types such as rail, bus and other innovative services. Potential connector services will also be evaluated. The analysis will identify potential infrastructure, vehicle type and right-of-way needs as well as other potential transit features.

Agency partners, local and regional stakeholders and the general public will have the opportunity to provide valuable input into the alternatives and evaluation criteria to aid in narrowing down to a feasible transit solution. The ultimate goal of the TCAA is to identify one locally-preferred transit alternative that meets the needs of the diverse community for which it will serve.

Alternatives 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.

Project Resources

Stakeholder Input

Milestone 1

Informational Materials

Planning Reports

Public Participation

RTC and METRO are committed to engaging the public and regional stakeholders throughout the TCAA process. The outreach program includes multiple opportunities to share information, listen to stakeholders and address concerns as well as seek valuable input to help identify a preferred transit alternative to serve and connect our communities.

New information will be distributed electronically through the website, social media and email blasts along with in-person distribution at meetings. If you would like to receive email updates on the TCAA, please complete the e-Subscriptions form.

Contact

For additional project information, please contact:
Ginger Dykaar
Senior Transportation Planner
transitcorridoraa@sccrtc.org
(831) 460-3200