Get the Train between Santa Cruz and San Jose Roaring Again

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Impact

Impact: 
A train connecting the city of Santa Cruz to San Jose and Silicon Valley would be an answered prayer for the region. Traffic on Highway 17 affects thousands of commuters who travel between Santa Cruz and San Jose each year. Restarting the train route between San Jose and Santa Cruz would save commuters time and millions of dollars in the long run.

Debate Summary

Present your argument: 

Restoring the old train that connects both locations, although problematic, would be the most feasible, environmentally, and economically friendly alternative to Highway 17.

Economically, restoring the old train route that connects Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley instead of expanding Highway 17 would save billions of dollars for the area’s transportation agencies and cities involved. Studies have shown that restoring the train route between Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley would cost around $612.4 million to $1.07 billion, still significantly cheaper than expanding Highway 17. Also, these studies support the claim that this train route would have no environmental impact in the area.

However, Santa Cruz officials have chosen to ignore these recommendations and have instead looked into upgrading the bus service that currently connects Santa Cruz to San Jose. Regardless, this needs to be looked at as an investment for the region.

Additional Information

Additional Description: 
After living in Santa Cruz for 4 years I know how annoying and difficult it can be to commute to San Jose or different parts of the South Bay. Having a train that can connect Santa Cruz to the South Bay would make it easier to bring cultural and economic benefits for both regions. People living in Santa Cruz can easily travel to San Jose and beyond for job and internship opportunities. People living in the South Bay can easily take in the Santa Cruz sun and interact with the laid back environment that Santa Cruz offers. Let’s not forget that the relief that this would bring to Highway 17 would be a game changer for commuters and the environment in the area. I know that I would prefer to pay a couple of bucks if it meant saving time from traffic on a busy Highway 17 during traffic hours and busy weekends.

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Funding Goal: 
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Transportation and Infrastructure