1. Delays the Trail:
The Greenway ballot initiative would delay Rail Trail progress for years. Railbanking and then removing the tracks on the Santa Cruz Branch Line puts the existing railroad right-of-way at risk of litigation and force us to repeat expensive environmental and engineering work. This would stop forward progress on the 32 mile Rail Trail already under construction for a decade or more.
2. Kills Rail Transit:
A wider Rail Trail alone can’t improve public transportation. The Greenway initiative removes rail transportation from the Santa Cruz County general plan. This would harm our our ability to get state and federal grants to move forward with passenger rail planning and construction. We can’t move forward without support from the state and federal grant programs!
Adding passenger rail transit to the congestion-free, dedicated corridor would provide reliable on-time, every-time service that will coordinate with METRO buses. This systemic transit solution is predicted to increase overall county-wide use of public transit to a total of 10 million annual users. Adding more public transit users every year will dramatically increase both METRO ridership and revenue, get many more people out of their cars, reduce our collective Vehicle Miles Traveled and reduce our global warming GHG emissions.
3. Harms the Environment:
Rail transit is our best local project for reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Rail transit is projected to reduce carbon emissions by 1482 metric tons annually³, the equivalent of planting 24,500 trees. If we remove rail transit our county will remain dependent on Highway 1 and polluting personal vehicles. Santa Cruz County will continue to grow; without expanding our public transportation options to include rail transit, congestion and pollution will also continue to grow. The Greenway petition would kill passenger rail in Santa Cruz County.
4. Dark Money Power Play
Dark money refers to political spending by nonprofit organizations that are not required to disclose their donors. The Greenway petition is a power play by a 501(c)4 dark money organization that wants to block all public transportation on the rail corridor, using tactics straight out of the Koch Brother’ playbook. Because they are a 501(c)4 their funding and motivations are unknown.
5. Isolates Our County:
The Greenway petition disconnects our county from the State Rail Network. Seamless “Around-the-Bay” regional rail service that connects with the state rail network will benefit residents, employees and employers, students, and tourists visiting our county.
Click here to read more about why we oppose this deceptive campaign to take away rail public transportation from Santa Cruz County.
We Stand for Rail & Trail
WE DO NOT STAND ALONE.
Our community is on record supporting passenger rail and for equitable and sustainable transportation:
- Watsonville City Council
- Santa Cruz City Council
- Elderly & Disabled Technical Advisory Committee, an official advisory body to the RTC
- Bicycle Advisory Committee, an official advisory body to the RTC
- California Coastal Commission
- Sierra Club (the local Santa Cruz County group)
- The Transportation Agency for Monterey County
- Bike Santa Cruz County
- Regeneration Pajaro Valley
- Bike Friendly Watsonville
- Youth for Climate Justice
- And over 230 other organizations, businesses and individuals in Santa Cruz County.