NEWS RELEASE: California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases Draft Environmental Document for San Francisco to San Jose Project Section

Jul 8 2020 | San Jose

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is releasing its second project-level Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for a project section in Northern California. The document, which covers the 49-mile segment between San Francisco and San Jose that would provide service between the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco and the San Jose Diridon Station, will be available for public comment starting Friday, July 10, 2020.

“I applaud the California High-Speed Rail Authority for reaching this important milestone. The release of the draft environmental document for the San Francisco to San Jose project section takes us one step closer to bringing high-speed rail to San Francisco and the Salesforce Transit Center,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Authority as it works to provide Californians with a sustainable transportation alternative that will connect economies throughout the state like never before.”

“This release is part of the environmental clearance for the entire San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim high-speed rail project. The project is the largest in the United States,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “It’s the fifth draft environmental impact document we’ve released since September of 2019, representing substantial progress on this transformational project.  We look forward to hearing from residents and stakeholders in San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties as we work to build a clean, fast and safe transportation network for Californians.”

The San Francisco to San Jose Project Section would provide the public with an electric-powered high-speed rail service that provides predictable and consistent travel times between major urban centers and connectivity to airports, mass transit systems, and the highway network stretching from San Francisco to San Jose. It would also help connect the northern and southern portions of the statewide high-speed rail system.

The approximately 49-mile project section will provide service between the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco and the San Jose Diridon Station along the Caltrain Corridor primarily on a shared, two-track configuration. Initially, high-speed trains would stop at the 4th and King Street Station in San Francisco (an interim high-speed rail station), and once the Transbay Joint Powers Authority completes its Downtown Extension Project, high-speed trains would reach the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco. The plan to share the tracks for both Caltrain and state high-speed rail systems is referred to as the Blended System. High-speed rail is providing $714 million to support Caltrain’s Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project that is upgrading the corridor, modernizing the existing commuter rail service, and will allow high-speed rail service to San Francisco.

The Draft EIR/EIS evaluates the impacts and benefits of the No Project Alternative and two project alternatives (Alternative A and Alternative B). Each alternative includes high-speed rail stations in San Francisco, Millbrae and San Jose, with a light maintenance facility on either the east or west side of Brisbane. Each of these stations is a significant intermodal hub that will provide links to regional and local mass transit systems.

With the release of this San Francisco to San Jose Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), the Authority remains on track to complete environmental clearance for the full Phase 1 system by the federally mandated 2022 deadline. From Friday, July 10 through Monday, August 24, the San Francisco to San Jose Project Section Draft EIR/EIS is available for a minimum 45-day CEQA and NEPA review and public comment period.

In conjunction with the public review period for the document, the Authority will hold a public hearing to take public comment. Comments received regarding environmental issues will be reviewed and responded to as required by law. The Final EIR/EIS document for San Francisco to San Jose will be issued in 2021.

Due to public health and safety requirements concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), the community open houses and/or the public hearing for the Draft EIR/EIS may need to occur online and/or as teleconference meetings only. Please check the Authority website (www.hsr.ca.gov) for more information, including up-to-date information on the planned hearing and open houses.

The public hearing is scheduled on:

August 19, 2020, 3 p.m.–8 p.m.
Bay Area Metro Center
375 Beale Street
Yerba Buena Room
San Francisco, CA, 94105

Open houses are scheduled on:

Event Date & Time Location
San Francisco Open House Meeting July 20, 2020
4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Bay Area Metro Center
375 Beale Street
Yerba Buena Room
San Francisco, CA, 94105
Redwood City Open House Meeting July 30, 2020
4 p.m.-7 p.m.
American Legion Post 105
651 El Camino Real
Redwood City, CA 94063
Santa Clara Open House Meeting August 5, 2020
4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Santa Clara Marriott
2700 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054

 

The Authority is issuing this document as lead agency under CEQA, and also under NEPA pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective as of July 23, 2019, between the State of California and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under a program commonly known as NEPA assignment (the MOU assigned FRA’s NEPA responsibilities for the project to the State of California). After the comment period closes on August 24, 2020, and the comments received have been evaluated,
staff will prepare and issue the Final EIR/EIS document and present it to the High-Speed Rail Board to consider certification and project approval under CEQA and NEPA.

There are several ways to submit a comment regarding the Draft EIR/EIS for the San Francisco to San Jose Project Section including:

  • Orally at the public hearing. Oral comments will be facilitated and accepted regardless of whether the hearing is held in person or only virtually.
  • Online via the Authority’s website (www.hsr.ca.gov)
  • Via email at San.Francisco_San.Jose@hsr.ca.gov with the subject line “Draft EIR/EIS Comment”
  • Via mail to the Northern California Regional Office:
Attn: San Francisco to San Jose Project Section: Draft EIR/EIS
California High-Speed Rail Authority
100 Paseo de San Antonio, Suite 300
San Jose, CA 95113

To view the contents of the Draft EIR/EIS, please visit our website starting Friday, July 10, 2020: www.hsr.ca.gov.

Speakers Bureau

The California High-Speed Rail Authority Speakers Bureau is managed by the Communications Office and provides informational presentations on the High-Speed Rail Program.

Request a Speaker

Contact

Michele Bourdreau
408-219-3114 (C)
Michele.Bourdreau@hsr.ca.gov

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