Santa Barbara City Council Adopts Pro-Rail Program 7–0

Document closely follows RailPAC policy.
Commentary by Paul Dyson, RailPAC President
At the regular Santa Barbara City Council meeting on Tuesday August 21 the Council unanimously adopted the staff’s report that outlined a policy of passenger rail improvements.

The full text of the document can be seen on line at

While the City is not the lead agency in carrying out the proposed upgrades to the Coast Line and service enhancements, the document is important because it sets in motion a process of coalition building with neighboring cities and counties. RailPAC has recommended this action to all of the agencies involved in the LOSSAN corridor, the Coast Daylight project, and local commuter rail.

Included in the plan is a request to Amtrak and Caltrans Rail to reschedule early morning and afternoon Surfliner trains to provide service between Ventura and Santa Barbara at more popular times. The current 799 in the morning does not perform well and has a poor schedule because of Metrolink meets. The 792 in the afternoon could also fill a gap by leaving later. Currently the train stands at Moorpark for a half hour for Metrolink because of the lack of passing sidings.

While the City’s proposals fall short of the 101 in Motion plan for commuter rail between Ventura County and Santa Barbara, it is an important first step. Without additional sidings and double track it is simply not possible to add trains without causing a further reduction in reliability and punctuality. A commuter service will not be successful unless the trains run on time, it’s that simple. If the coastal cities and counties work together to bring the much-needed investment to the Coast line we can have the long distance, regional and local services that the communities deserve.

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