Level Boarding on the Peninsula
On Monday evening at 6:30 pm Friends of Caltrain is hosting an event at Mountain View City Hall to discuss level boarding on the Peninsula rail corridor. Adina Levin of Friends of Caltrain describes the importance of this discussion to effective passenger rail service on the Peninsula:
Caltrain will make key decisions affecting the long term capacity of the blended system with High Speed Rail by 2015, when it chooses what electric rail cars to buy. On October 14, come learn and discuss these issues with representatives from Caltrain, the High Speed Rail Authority, and the Transbay project, hosted by Friends of Caltrain
Caltrain and High Speed Rail are still intending to have incompatible platform heights, and set-aside areas in the space-constrained Transbay station, limiting the amount of rail service that can be provided in the “blended system”.
Can Caltrain and High Speed Rail agree on platform heights to provide more service and lower cost? What are the barriers to doing this?
The good news for San Francisco and Silicon Valley is that Caltrain is leaning toward level boarding – a major step forward – but there are funding, technical, and regulatory challenges.
Right now, riders need to climb stairs to get aboard Caltrain. Caltrain has to stop for up to two minutes at each station stop, and up to 5 minutes for passengers in wheelchairs. BART, by comparison, stops for 30-40 seconds. Caltrain can’t schedule transfer connections to be on time. Boarding Caltrain is difficult and time-consuming for people with mobility issues (and strollers, and luggage, and bikes).
Can Caltrain have level boarding? Can Caltrain and High Speed Rail share platform heights? What are the technical, legal, and cost barriers to solving these problems? What would it take to overcome them? How can we community members help?
Join Friends of Caltrain on Monday October 14, 6:30pm at Mountain View City Hall for a panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges of level boarding and platform height.
Marian Lee, Executive Officer Caltrain Modernization
Bryan Dykes, Transbay Transit Center Project
Ben Tripousis, Northern California Regional Director, High Speed Rail Authority
Clem Tillier, Caltrain/High Speed Rail Compatibility Blog
Those interested in attending are strongly encouraged to pre-register here to help organizers with logistics.
It should be a good discussion that can help both Caltrain and California high speed rail figure out how to use the blended corridor effectively. Now is the time to get this right.