Right now in Santa Cruz County we have an opportunity to dramatically reduce our local greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). But the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) isn’t moving the plan forward.
For the last 20 years, Santa Cruz County has been working towards implementing clean and fast public transportation on the rail line between Santa Cruz and Watsonville. On April 1st 2021 that work was all disregarded when 6 members of the RTC blocked the next step, ignoring the recommendations of Caltrans, the Coastal Commission, the Santa Cruz City Council, the Watsonville City Council, and many years of work by transit planners, including RTC staff. We need to keep the pressure up with loud community support so they will change their votes!
We Can Make a Difference for the Climate!
In Santa Cruz County, transportation is responsible for 60% of GHGs. This means that we can have a big impact if we fix transportation so that people don’t need to drive to get around. We must expand climate-friendly transportation options to make them reliable, safe, and convenient.
The RTC estimates the addition of Rail and Trail together will reduce GHG emissions by 1482 metric tons annually, the equivalent amount of carbon that 61,750 old growth trees can remove from the atmosphere every year. That’s a huge reduction in GHG emissions that we can achieve with just this one project! There are no other transportation projects in Santa Cruz County that come close to this number. However, we believe that number is the just the beginning. By combining the Coastal Rail Trail, zero-emissions passenger rail, synchronized bus connections and safe streets, we can set the stage for a cultural shift away from driving as more and more people take advantage of these easy, safe, and efficient alternatives.
If you believe this version of our future is worth fighting for, here are four actions you can take today:
Action 1. Support the Petition
Click here to sign the petition to Approve Rail Transit in Santa Cruz County and then share the petition everywhere. Let’s make noise! Be sure to share near and far!
Action 2. Email the RTC Commissioners
Let the members of the RTC know that the public is watching and that we want them to move forward with adding zero-emissions light rail to our public transportation system. Click here to use our convenient form to email all the commissioners.
Action 3. Donate to Support the Work
We are working hard to make sure the entire county is aware of this great project and it’s benefits, but we can’t do it without your help! Please consider making a donation to help us spread the word.
As an added benefit, if you are able to donate right now during our Spring Challenge Match your gift will be doubled. This is the time to contribute and help us share our message of a climate-friendly and equitable transportation system with the whole county.
We can combat climate change and improve equity and economic opportunity. Let’s make it happen! Please click to Donate here.
Action 4. Add Your Name
Endorse the Coast Connect Vision! Click here to add your name to the ever-growing list of community members who believe in this cause.
Thank you for all you do to help #transformtransportation