On Thursday, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board (SMCTA) agreed to solicit proposals to fund Caltrain grade separations.The SMCTA is requesting cities to respond by late November about their interest in grade separation funding. For details see item 11(c) in the meeting packet.
San Mateo County’s Measure A half-cent sales tax has about $200 million that can be used as “local match” for grade separation projects, along with other State and Federal sources and developer fees. For comparison, the grade separation in San Bruno cost about $150 million, of which $29 million was supplied by San Mateo County Measure A funds. Belmont and San Carlos cost $170 million, and the proposed San Mateo 25th Avenue Grade Separation is estimated at $200 million.
With the upcoming implementation of electrification by 2019, and the prospect of high speed trains after 2028, there will be more trains crossing local roads. The Caltrain Electrification project does not *require* any grade separations, but cities may want them to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety. Grade separations are legally required if train speeds exceed 125MPH (higher than the planned speed of the blended system), and may be recommended by CPUC for sections that have passing tracks.