RailCAT stands for Rail Corridor Automated Taxi, a new transportation concept for the Santa Cruz County Rail and Trail. Like ordinary cats, the RailCAT vehicles are nimble and small enough to run up and down the corridor, offering efficient bi-directional nonstop travel with little or no waiting. The system is designed to provide a better experience (in some cases) than driving your own car.

RailCAT offers the following key benefits, compared to passenger rail:

  • Whisper-quiet operation
  • 24/7 service (except when freight trains are running)
  • On-demand service: no schedule, and little or no waiting
  • Unlimited boarding locations, with no compromise of travel time
  • Social distancing: transit that works, even during a pandemic
  • Eliminate the planning process and land requirements for stations
  • Extremely efficient transportation mode with high capacity
  • (likely) Reduced cost to taxpayers and/or riders
  • (feasible) Direct service to existing transit stations and Cabrillo College

The system adheres to the following principles:

  • Use currently available technology
  • Rail tracks remain available for freight (during off-hours)
  • Complements the bike/pedestrian Rail Trail
  • No need for elevated guideways
  • Minimal impact on automobile traffic

Rider Experience

These comfortable vehicles can accommodate families, bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs with no delays. Learn more details here.


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How it Works

The existing rail right-of-way is sufficient to support three lanes of narrow vehicles, including stopping zones for passenger loading. Learn more details here.

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