The Contracting Process Between the RTC and Progressive Rail

The Contracting Process Between the RTC and Progressive Rail

The process used to replace Iowa Pacific with a new rail operator has been happened outside of the public’s purview. Using the California Public Records Act, Greenway obtained communications between the RTC and Progressive Rail (PGR). In this document, we describe a process that appears to strongly favor hiring Progressive Rail well before Iowa Pacific had even announced they would like to get out of their contract.

FORT’s Fake News

For years FORT has been pushing the plan that its name indicates—“Friends of the Rail and Trail.” In fact, a slide presented by FORT to the Scotts Valley City Council in January 2018 is titled, “Rail + Trail = Best Way.” The name change to “Trail with Transit” is a marketing gimmick to dress up the old plan to retain the tracks, even though there is no viable train plan.

Words of Warning from Progressive Rail’s Hometown

Words of Warning from Progressive Rail’s Hometown

Lakeville, MN had the opportunity to turn a rail corridor into a greenway many years ago. If only they had gone that route, they would be enjoying the corridor rather than policing it. Pam Steinhagen, who runs a daycare that backs up to the train tracks, has been a vocal community advocate speaking out about safety concerns caused by "out of use" cars that Progressive Rail has been storing for 9+ years just outside residents' backyards.

Segment 7 Phase 1 Update

Segment 7 Phase 1 Update

Last week the Santa Cruz City Council voted to approve the issuance of a $109K contract to build out Phase 1 of Segment 7 of the rail-with-trail plan. Although this approval was expected, there was a last minute flurry of excitement as trail plans include a cut through the New Leaf Community Market parking lot and the city does not have a written agreement to do so.  New Leaf Market and the property owner have agreed to negotiate with the city to come up with a solution to avoid an on-street re-route.

Iowa Pacific’s pulling out of the rail corridor. Time to switch gears?

Iowa Pacific’s pulling out of the rail corridor. Time to switch gears?

On Dec. 13, Iowa Pacific, the rail operator for Santa Cruz County’s rail line, confirmed that they plan to end their contract—more evidence that a train on this old freight corridor does not make sense. We suggest the RTC take advantage of this opportunity to stop planning “excursion-themed services” and start working on achievable, climate-friendly, alternatives to gridlock.

Iowa Pacific plans to pull out as evidence mounts for Greenway's plan

Iowa Pacific plans to pull out as evidence mounts for Greenway's plan

Iowa Pacific plans to pull out of Santa Cruz and METRO announces the need to replace 62 buses while Greenway supporters work to ensure the trail-only option receives fair consideration in the next phase of the Unified Corridor Study.

Santa Cruz County Business Council Board Unanimously endorses Greenway plan

Santa Cruz County Business Council Board Unanimously endorses Greenway plan

The Santa Cruz County Business Council Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the building of a “multi-use, contiguous trail, with separate pedestrian and bike lanes, down the center of the corridor” [Greenway] over the potential future option of having an active rail line, and bike and pedestrian pathway together.