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History & Background in City of San Mateo
Years of Planning for Rail in the City of San Mateo

Scan highlights and milestones in our City's proactive efforts.

The rail corridor and its impact on the City of San Mateo has been the subject of extensive planning and discussion.  Highlights:

  • The City conducted a study of rail issues in the downtown in 1994. 
  • Similarly, the City commissioned a study of the rail alignment between the Hillsdale and Hayward Park stations in 2001. 
  • A recent multi-year community planning effort yielded the Rail Corridor Plan and a similar process resulted in the Downtown Plan. 

These studies and documents provide the City’s vision that will be realized only with key changes to the rail alignment through San Mateo.  As a result, it has been important to the City to remain actively involved and proactive in rail planning within the City. 

We have spent significant time assessing the impact of this major transportation corridor through our City.  These efforts led to development of City standards for the alignment of the train corridor through San Mateo. 

Based on this extensive planning, the City Council has established that a depressed alignment in Downtown and an elevated alignment around the Bay Meadows project are preferred.  This policy direction was reinforced when the City Council reviewed the Footprint Studies prepared for the downtown and Hillsdale rail segments by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. Read more about these preferred options.

As the discussion of high speed rail has emerged, the City has provided feedback through environmental reports and various meetings with HSR design staff on the alignment issues and standards established in San Mateo.  This has included detailed responses during the environmental scoping process and the Context Sensitive Solutions. 

The challenge in addressing the City’s interests has been in providing adequate time and opportunity for community input while meeting key High Speed Rail schedule milestones.

Current Working Groups
Public Works and public officials collaborate with our neighbors and serve on important committees in the HSR planning process:
  • The Public Works Department meets regularly with the cities of Millbrae and Burlingame to discuss and plan our shared interests in the planning of high speed rail
  • The Public Works Department serves on the “Technical Working Group” which is comprised of representatives from every impacted agency along our segment’s corridor. This group meets periodically to review preliminary environmental review results and comments on its findings.
  • Public officials serve on the “Policy Working Group” which is comprised of public officials in the three counties impacted by our segment of rail.

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