Transportation Agency for Monterey County celebrates Salinas train station improvements

Peninsula Premier Admin

SALINAS — Celebrating the improvements of the $11.2 million Intermodal Transportation Center at the Salinas train station, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County will host a virtual ribbon-cutting on Friday, part of Phase I of the Monterey County Rail Extension project.

The Kick Start project is Phase I of the overall Monterey County Rail Extension project, focused on improving the existing Salinas train station for new passenger rail service that will connect Salinas to the San Francisco Bay Area and includes making track improvements at Gilroy to allow through trains to stop at the train station there.

The virtual ribbon-cutting event celebrating the completion of the Kick Start project, Package 1 of the Monterey County Rail Extension project will take place Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m. and livestreamed on the agency’s Facebook page at

Debbie Hale, Transportation Agency for Monterey County executive director, will serve as master of ceremonies. California state Senator Anna Caballero will have a pre-recorded address and speakers addressing the audience live will be Monterey County Supervisor and agency board Chair Luis Alejo, Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig, King City Mayor and agency Rail Policy Committee Chair Mike LaBarre and Carmel Mayor Dave Potter, who is the agency’s Rail Policy Committee vice-chair and Coast Rail Coordinating Council chair.

The Salinas Train Station, also known as the Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Salinas, is near the main employment area of the city, is located along West Market Street and Highway 183, and is situated less than a quarter-mile from the Monterey Salinas Transit bus center.

The Intermodal Transportation Center improvements to the Salinas station were constructed as part of the Kick Start Project and include a new direct signalized access point to downtown via the extension of Lincoln Avenue across West Market Street, a five-bay bus transfer area, bike lanes and bike lockers, safe pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and commuter parking.

The Salinas Intermodal Transportation Center was the first of three packages in the Kick Start Project. The second will be the construction of the Salinas layover facility and the third will be the Gilroy station and track improvements.

The Intermodal Transportation Center extends passenger rail service from Gilroy to Salinas and will have at least two commute-oriented round trips every weekday at the start of service with an opportunity to expand. The station will integrate new passenger rail service to the San Francisco Bay Area with existing service by Amtrak, intercity trains and buses, Monterey-Salinas Transit local buses and Greyhound intercity buses.

The Kick Start Project also includes a train layover facility in Salinas and improvements to the tracks between Salinas and Gilroy with an estimated capital cost of $81 million.

Phase II of the Monterey County Rail Extension project will be the Pajaro/Watsonville Multimodal Transportation Station in Pajaro in unincorporated Monterey County about 1.5 miles from downtown Watsonville in Santa Cruz County. It will serve as the connection point for Santa Cruz County to new passenger rail service on the Coast mainline tracks between Salinas and the San Francisco Bay Area with an estimated capital cost of $30 million.

Phase III of the Monterey County Rail Extension project will be the Castroville Multimodal Station in the unincorporated Monterey County community of Castroville. It will serve as a connection point for passengers coming from the Monterey Peninsula to board new passenger rail service on the Coast mainline tracks. The Castroville station will be the link to the future Monterey Branch Line Light Rail Transit service for cross-platform transfer between services. The Phase III project has an estimated capital cost of $27 million.

The completed rail extension project will extend passenger rail service to Silicon Valley, San Jose, the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, and is part of the California State Rail Plan.

Contributed by local news sources

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