REDWOOD CITY (KCBS) – A new study by a public policy group has found tremendous economic advantages in electrifying Caltrain along the Peninsula.

The study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute found that having Caltrain run on electric power rather than diesel fuel would not only be a boon for the environment, but the electrification construction project would also be an economic bonanza for the area.

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The study estimates $1.5 billion in economic benefits, including creating 9,500 jobs.

“It is critical now to make Caltrain a 21st century transportation system,” said Peninsula Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, a staunch proponent of the electrification project.

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KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

But investment from the state of California in Caltrain electrification is currently tied to funding for the controversial High-Speed Rail project, which is scheduled to be taken up by the state legislature later this week.

Bay Area Council President Jim Wunderman said that if lawmakers don’t make an early investment in electrification, it could be decades before the project becomes a reality.

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