Caltrain Executive Director Mike Scanlon praised the announcement from the California High Speed Rail Authority that former California Department of Transportation Director Jeff Morales has been named the rail agency’s new Chief Executive Officer.
“The selection of Jeff Morales is the latest decision in a string of recent actions by the Authority Board that have helped steer this project in the right direction,” said Scanlon. “The approval of the latest business plan and the regional agreement to proceed with early investments that support a blended system on the Caltrain corridor are signals that the Authority is listening and responding to local feedback. With a demonstrated track record of leadership on critical transportation issues, we are confident that Mr. Morales will build on this progress and will help advance a project that delivers state-of-the-art transportation improvements in a way that enhances local communities.”
“Mr. Morales is highly qualified, experienced and, perhaps most importantly, he is a superb listener,” Scanlon added. “As the Director of the Chicago Transit Authority and Executive Director at Caltrans, he has demonstrated that he knows how to manage some of the nation’s most complex transportation systems and large infrastructure projects. That experience will serve him well as he leads California’s most important transportation priority at such a critical time. We’re fortunate to have him on board and look forward to working with him.”
High-speed rail will utilize the Caltrain corridor between San Jose and San Francisco. The system is being planned to support blended high-speed rail and electrified Caltrain service on shared tracks to minimize impacts on surrounding communities and control project costs. Caltrain is working with the Authority to study design and service alternatives that are consistent with the blended approach.
Electrified Caltrain service will provide faster, cleaner, quieter, more frequent service to more stations between San Francisco and San Jose. Caltrain continues to experience record ridership growth, but the system’s current diesel operations are near capacity and are consistently threatened by an ongoing structural deficit. The electrification and modernization of the Caltrain corridor will help accommodate increased ridership and reduce the subsidy required to operate the system, while also helping to prepare the corridor for future high-speed rail service.