Though Oct. 18 was intended to be the last day for comment on the ACEforward project, an expansion of the Altamont Commuter Express railway which would bring a station to Turlock by 2022, the deadline has been extended to Nov. 4.
The last-minute extension came in response to the federal government shutdown, allowing federal agencies more time to comment.
The ACEforward project would bring a number of improvements to ACE rail service, which currently runs between Stockton and San Jose. The project would add higher-speed 125 mile-per-hour trains, add new tracks in some bottleneck areas of the current route, and add amenities like Wi-Fi to ACE trains.
Most importantly to Turlockers, the project would extent ACE rail service to Downtown Modesto by 2018, and to Turlock and Merced by 2022. That project could cost as much as $388 million. No funding has been allocated for the expansion, but planners believe state and federal grants would likely pay for all costs.
Fare information for the proposed routes is not available, but ACE riders currently pay $13 for a one-way ticket from Stockton to San Jose, with discounts available for seniors, children, and frequent riders. A trip from Turlock to San Jose would take approximately two hours and five minutes, according to ACE.
Comments may be submitted in writing to Dan Leavitt, Manager of Regional Initiatives, ATTN: ACEforward Program EIR/EIS, SJRRC/ACE Headquarters 949 East Channel Street, Stockton, CA 95202, or via e-mail with the subject line “ACEforward EIR/EIS” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments may also be sent to Stephanie Perez, Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Railroad Policy and Development, Federal Railroad Administration, 200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, or by calling (202) 493–0388.
For more information, visit http://www.acerail.com/About/Public-Projects/ACEforward.