Formed to Promote Improvement
To protect the existing San Joaquin Rail Service and to promote its improvement, in 2012, local and regional agencies throughout most of the San Joaquin Corridor (Bakersfield-Fresno-Modesto-Stockton-Sacramento-Oakland) sponsored and supported Assembly Bill 1779 (AB 1779). This bill enabled regional government agencies to form the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) to take over the administration and management of the existing San Joaquin Rail Service from the state. AB 1779 was passed by the Legislature on August 30, 2012 with bi-partisan support, and was signed by Governor Brown on September 29, 2012. The first SJJPA Board meeting was held on March 22, 2013 in Merced.
AB 1779 defines the composition of the SJJPA, and extends the time for executing an interagency transfer agreement with the Department of Transportation to June 30, 2015. The governance and management of the San Joaquin Rail Service was transferred to the SJJPA on July 1, 2015, and AB 1779 requires that the transfer must result in administrative or operating cost reductions. AB 1779 requires the SJJPA to protect the existing San Joaquin Rail Service as well as facilitate and seek to expand service as warranted by ridership and available revenue.