A prior Notice of Preparation (NOP) was issued for the ACEforward project in June 2013, and the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released in May 2017. The ACEforward project included the expansion of ACE service between the San Joaquin Valley and San Jose, as well as extension of ACE service to Modesto and Merced. As the ACEforward project has progressed, funding for the entirety of ACEforward improvements has been uncertain. However, as part of SB 132 passed in April 2017, SJRRC was awarded $400 million for the ACE service expansion in the San Joaquin Valley. Through the ACEforward project development and environmental review, substantial financial, environmental, and logistical challenges were identified with some of the improvements necessary to increase ACE service levels to San Jose. In addition, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) ridership studies have shown that expansion to Ceres and Merced would provide substantial increases in ACE ridership without the financial, logistical, and environmental challenges of some of the improvements necessary to increase service levels to San Jose. As a result, the feasible and fundable extension of service in the Central Valley is now the focus of SJRRC vision for commuter and intercity passenger rail services for ACE. The improvements envisioned in the ACEforward plan no longer represents the intention of SJRRC for ACE. For this reason, SJRRC is rescinding the prior ACEforward NOP and draft EIR and intends to prepare a new EIR for this ACE Extension Lathrop to Ceres/Merced Project. Please visit the following webpage for information about this project: www.acerail.com/About/Projects-Initiatives/Current/ACE-Extension-Lathrop-to-Ceres-Merced.

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