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The RTC will consider the Draft Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line Operating Agreement in public session at its next meeting on June 14, 9 am at the Watsonville City Council Chambers, 275 Main Street, 4th floor.
The draft agreement for a new rail service operator along the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line is now available for public review: https://sccrtc.org/projects/rail/draft-operating-agreement/
The RTC purchased the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line in 2012 from Union Pacific. At that time, Union Pacific, which retained the easement for freight rail service operations, transferred that easement to a new rail service operator selected by the RTC. The RTC went through a public process to seek a new rail operator and selected Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railway (a company of Iowa Pacific Holdings) as the operator. Currently, Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railway can no longer meet all of the requirements of the operating agreement with the RTC. Given this, the RTC began the process to select a new rail service operator.
In December 2017, the RTC released a request for proposal (RFP) for a new rail operator, and five proposals were submitted to the RTC. After review of all of the proposals and careful due diligence, the RTC selected Progressive Rail as the potential operator to enter into negotiations with for an operating agreement. These negotiations have been ongoing since January 2018 and have resulted in a draft operating agreement that is now available for public review.
The RTC will consider the draft agreement in public session at its next meeting on June 14, 2018, at the Watsonville City Council Chambers, 275 Main Street, Watsonville.