Electrifying Caltrain could generate up to $2.5 billion in long-term benefits for region 

Upgrade: Transforming Caltrain’s diesel fuel trains to an electric system could provide jobs and billions of dollars for the Bay Area. - FILE PHOTO/ THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • FILE PHOTO/ THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Upgrade: Transforming Caltrain’s diesel fuel trains to an electric system could provide jobs and billions of dollars for the Bay Area.

Electrifying Caltrain could provide up to $2.48 billion in long-term economic benefits for the Bay Area, according to a study released Tuesday.

Construction on the project is slated to provide 9,581 news jobs, 90 percent of which would be located in the Bay Area, and state and local tax collectors would earn $71 million a year while the new infrastructure was being built, said the report, compiled by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

California’s gross state product would rise by $951 million during the construction phase, and nearby property values could increase by as much as $1 billion, the report said. Combining those factors, the institute estimated that the total economic benefit of the electrification plan could range from $1.44 billion to $2.48 billion.

Caltrain is set to be electrified by 2019 under a $1.46 billion project funded by state and regional sources. It will allow Caltrain to run faster, more efficient service while reducing greenhouse gas and noise pollution. Electrifying the system also will pave the way for high-speed rail trains, to use the trackway between San Jose and San Francisco.

The agency’s trains are currently powered by diesel fuel.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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