Due to the hard work of California State Senator Anthony Canella (R-Ceres), California State Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), and California State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) will be receiving $400 million for service expansion as a key component of the Transportation Funding Measure (SB 1) which was approved by the Legislature last night.
“The state has continuously underinvested in the San Joaquin Valley and in rural California. ACE service to Modesto, Ceres, Turlock, and Merced will bring great economic benefit to our region – providing a safe, reliable, affordable, and comfortable alternative to driving to the Bay Area. The I-580/I-680 Altamont Corridor is certainly one of the most congested corridors in the State” said Senator Cannella.
The funds are necessary to make improvements to expand ACE service, including new track, stations, and trains. ACE is expected to extend to Ceres by no later than 2023. The ACEforward environmental process has cleared various near term projects and is in the process of clearing the remaining sections of the project expansion.
“We are excited to expand service into Stanislaus County and ease congestion on Highway 99,” said San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission Executive Director Stacey Mortensen.
ACE, started in 1998 and now runs four daily round trips starting at the Cabral Station in Downtown Stockton, through the Tri-Valley, and into Downtown San Jose. ACE currently carries over 1.3 million riders a year, and ridership has doubled since 2011. The Bay Area Council released the Northern California Megaregion report in 2016, highlighting that over 65,000 drivers cross the Altamont Pass on Interstate 580 every single day. The expanded ACE service will enable ridership to continue to grow to better serve the region.