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To the editor: I love trains … in the right place.
Such is not the case in our small community.
That’s very clear by the Regional Transportation Commission’s own 2015 study that showed a passenger train between Watsonville and Santa Cruz would serve less than 2% of the people who travel by car on Highway 1 every day.
Clearly, such a train would not reduce traffic on Highway 1, nor would it be used to any substantial degree.
Moreover, it’s clear that, again, by the RTC’s own figures, establishing a passenger train would cost approximately $1.3 billion over the next 30 years. This is money the county simply doesn’t have, and, given its projected low ridership, such a train would be uneconomic for the feds or state government to fund.
Bottom line: It makes huge sense to railbank the rails for later reinstalling, should our county ever have a clear rail connection over the hill and/or enough population to assure decent ridership and a return on the public’s investment.
So as a longtime train lover (in the right place!), I strongly recommend a yes vote on Measure D.