On Track to the Future
California’s state rail system has been an essential part of the State’s transportation infrastructure for over 150 years—and it will play an even more crucial role in expanding options for moving people and goods in more sustainable ways.
Updated every five years, the California State Rail Plan is a long-term vision of an integrated, cohesive rail system that offers efficient passenger and freight service to support California’s economy and help achieve critical climate change goals.
Updating it involves collaborating effectively with multiple State agencies, regional and local governments, transportation agencies, commuter rail operators, freight railroads, and—key to ensuring equity—with equity priority communities, including Native American tribal governments and other disenfranchised and disadvantaged populations.
The stakeholder and public engagement campaign gathered input, built ownership and support for the Rail Plan, and focused on feedback about the impacts and benefits of the current system, especially on equity priority communities.
Along with communications and a robust website, three virtual Community Workshops (focused on Northern, Central and Southern California) helped Caltrans present information, conduct real-time discussions and collect comments. This online format helped Caltrans establish and maintain relationships with organizations working with equity priority communities.
Caltrans is now using this format as a model for engaging large public audiences and effectively facilitating regional discussions.