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Hearing seeks input on Valley rail service
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Assemblyman Adam Gray, who serves as the chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Rail, will host a special public hearing on the existing passenger rail services in the Valley on Friday, August 21 at 10 a.m. at the Modesto City Council/Stanislaus County Chambers, 1010 10th Street, Basement Chambers, in downtown Modesto. The focus of this Assembly hearing will be on promoting the near-term improvement and expansion of the successful San Joaquin and Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) rail services.

The San Joaquin service connects the Valley to Sacramento and the East Bay and serves 1.2 million passengers annually. The ACE service connects the Valley to the East Bay and Silicon Valley and serves nearly 1.3 million passengers year. While both services reduce congestion on the roads and highways and improve air quality, they are in need of infrastructure improvements to increase the frequency of service, reduce travel times, improve safety and on-time performance, serve new markets, and provide economic benefits to the region.

The ACE expansion program aims to extend the ACE service to the downtowns of Ripon, Manteca, Modesto, Turlock, Livingston or Atwater, and Merced. Senator Cathleen Galgiani and Senator Anthony Cannella (members of the Senate Select Committee on Passenger Rail) and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen are strong supporters of San Joaquin and ACE rail services and have confirmed that they will be joining Gray as participants in this important hearing.

The purpose of the public hearing is to promote the San Joaquin and ACE services and their proposed improvement programs and build understanding and support of both services. Strong San Joaquin Valley support is expected to be essential in obtaining the needed funding to significantly improve and expand San Joaquin and ACE rail services within the next five to 10 years. The hearing will provide a chance for local leadership and community representatives to provide input.

"I'm looking forward to holding the event in Modesto," said Gray. "This is a great opportunity for people in the Valley to directly express their support for expanding rail service in the Valley. There is a lot of excitement here as rail improvements and expansions can mean new travel options for residents and jobs for our local economies."

A welcome by Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh will precede the hearing, which will also include testimonials from key community members, business leaders, and local elected officials. They will discuss their experience, the benefits of rail service, and the potential to enhance economic development through expanded rail service in the San Joaquin Valley. The public will also have the opportunity to provide input.

Any interested members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearing.

Spanish translation service will be provided at the hearing. For more information on the public hearing call 521-2111 or email