The Monterey Peninsula Fixed Guideway Service will provide express transit service using the existing Monterey Branch Line alignment, which was purchased by the Transportation Agency in 2003 for $9.3 million. The 16-mile corridor extends between Monterey and Castroville on the publicly owned tracks adjacent to Highway 1.Monterey Branch Line Fact Sheet (9MB PDF)Monterey Salinas Transit Busway Study, June 2018 (9MB PDF)Real Property Ownership Policies, June 22, 2016 (2MB PDF)Frequently Asked Questions, September 2015 (100KB PDF)Monterey Branch Line Alternatives Analysis Executive Summary, March 2012 (14MB PDF)Monterey Branch Line Presentation, July 2010 (7MB PowerPoint)Bridge Strategy Report for the Monterey Peninsula Light Rail Project, May 2010 (17MB PDF)
The first phase of the light rail transit project will run between Monterey and north Marina with key stations in Monterey, Seaside, Sand City, Marina/CSUMB, and connecting bus service to Pacific Grove and Carmel to the south and Salinas to the east. Later phases will extend light rail service to the planned commuter rail station in Castroville and increase the frequency of trains. Unfortunately, the project currently lacks funding, and has been delayed until TAMC can secure the funds needed to complete the environmental review, design, and construction.
- Improves access between Monterey and Marina
- Facilitates access to jobs, health care, shopping
- Provides alternative to traffic congestion
- Reduces commuter stress
- Promotes economic development around stations
In advance of securing funding for the light rail project, TAMC is coordinating with Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) to explore using the corridor for rapid bus service to build ridership and provide an alternative to Highway 1. The final busway feasibility study is available here. The next step is for MST to do conceptual engineering and an environmental review of the proposed busway. Go to the MST SURF! Project website to learn more.
Christina Watson is the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s rail program planner. If you have any questions, you can reach her at (831) 775-4406, or via email at: christina (at) tamcmonterey.org.