San José to Merced
The San José to Merced project section is part of the first phase of the California high-speed rail system that will provide a critical rail link between the Silicon Valley and the Central Valley. The approximately 84-mile project section will travel between stations in San José (Diridon Station) and Gilroy and (after passing through the Central Valley Wye) north to Merced or south to Fresno.
The focus of the San José to Merced project section is the area between San José and the Central Valley Wye. The Central Valley Wye is being studied separately as a supplemental environmental document for the Merced to Fresno project section.
This route will travel from Diridon Station in downtown San José, through the Pacheco Pass, to the western limits of the Central Valley Wye, approximately nine miles northeast of Los Banos in Merced County.
The Authority is working to environmentally clear the section between San José and the Central Valley Wye. Options range from a new dedicated high-speed rail corridor between San José and Gilroy to a shared corridor with electrified Caltrain service using the existing rail corridor.
The public review period for the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the San José to Merced Section closed on June 9, 2021. On April 23, 2021, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) released, for public review and comment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS) for the San José to Merced Section of the California High-Speed Rail Project to address the recent listings of mountain lion as a state candidate species and of monarch butterfly as a federal candidate species. The document also proposes new mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of noise and lighting on wildlife during project construction and operation. The official 45-day public comment period began Friday, April 23, 2021 and ended Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
To access the Revised Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS, please navigate to the following link: https://hsr.ca.gov/programs/environmental-planning/project-section-environmental-documents-tier-2/san-jose-to-merced-project-section-draft-environmental-impact-report-environmental-impact-statement/
The public review period for the San José to Merced Project Section Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) closed on June 23, 2020. The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) will consider all comments received on the Draft EIR/EIS and respond to substantive comments on the Draft EIR/EIS in the Final EIR/EIS. The Draft EIR/EIS was originally made available for a minimum 45-day public review beginning on April 24, 2020 and ending on June 8, 2020, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In response to agency and stakeholder requests and in consideration of limitations caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Authority elected to extend the public review period for 15 days to June 23, 2020. View the Draft EIR/EIS.
Please visit the Events Page for more information about engagement activities during the public comment period. Authority staff will provide written responses to all comments received, which will be published in the Final EIR/EIS, scheduled for release in 2021.
Public Involvement & Community Outreach
Below is a list of open houses and working group meetings we have conducted between fall 2019 and High-speed rail is our opportunity to modernize the Bay Area’s transportation system and leave a positive environmental legacy for our children and grandchildren. The Authority encourages public engagement in California high-speed rail construction and operations, so that the final project reflects the needs and vision of our community as a whole.
We conduct outreach events throughout Northern California, such as Open Houses and Community Working Group meetings, to inform and gather input from local communities, policymakers, and stakeholders. Stakeholders include environmental justice groups, community organizations, city/county staff, neighborhood groups, and California residents.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority created an open house website to provide access to information and resources for the Northern California project sections upon the release of the San Francisco to San José and San José Merced Draft Environmental Impact Reports/Environmental Impact Statements (EIRs/EISs). The website is regularly updated as more resources become available. Please visit MeetHSRNorcal.org to learn more.
Below is a list of open houses and working group meetings conducted between fall 2019 and winter 2020. For a listing of upcoming events and outreach opportunities in your area, visit the Events page. Due to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, meeting materials prior to June 2019 can be requested through a Public Records Act request.
- Draft EIR/EIS Open House Q&A Webinars on MeetHSRNorcal.org – 05/11, 05/14, 05/18
- Draft EIR/EIS Public Hearing – 05/27
- Spring Community Working Group Meetings
- Morgan Hill-Gilroy – 03/09
- San José – 03/11
- Preferred Alternative Open Houses:
- San José – 8/15
- Los Banos – 8/21
- Gilroy – 8/22
High-Speed Rail Stations
High-speed rail stations are planned for two locations in the San José to Merced Project Section: San José Diridon Station and in Merced located adjacent to State Route 99 and the Union Pacific Rail Road Line.
For more information about individual planned rail stations, please visit the station communities web pages:
Newsletters & Factsheets
The Authority releases quarterly regional newsletters to keep stakeholders and the public up to date on the high-speed rail program.
To sign up for the newsletter, complete the form on the Contact Us page and select “Northern California” from the dropdown menu.
Visit the Factsheets page to learn more about California High-Speed Rail and to view the Authority’s factsheets.
To learn more about the San José to Merced Project Section, please see the following factsheets.
Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State of California and the federal government both require a proposed infrastructure project to undergo an extensive assessment of the project’s potential impacts on the environment.
Below are steps the Authority is taking to deliver the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS).
Documents & Reports
The following documents are available for review upon request. The Authority encourages written requests submitted via our Public Records Portal.
- San José to Merced Project Section Supplemental Alternatives Analysis
- San José to Merced Project Section Alternative Analysis
- San José to Merced Project Section Scoping Report
- San José to Merced Project Section Notice of Intent/Notice of Preparation
Please visit the links below to view the latest project section and California High Speed-Rail reports.
- San José to Merced Project Section Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement
- San José to Merced Project Section Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement
- Sustainability Report
- Project Update Reports
- High-Speed Rail Business Plans
- San Francisco to San José
- San José to Merced
- Merced to Sacramento
- Merced to Fresno
- Merced to Fresno – Central Valley Wye
- Fresno to Bakersfield
- Fresno to Bakersfield – Locally Generated Alternative
- Bakersfield to Palmdale
- Palmdale to Burbank
- Burbank to Los Angeles
- Los Angeles to Anaheim
- Los Angeles to San Diego
PROJECT SECTION ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS
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