In 2009, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County approved the development and construction of a light rail system, the first phase of which will stretch from Monterey to Marina. The area will likely be one of the smallest American communities to have a light rail system once it is open in 2015. The cost of the project is about $200 million, and the most recent ridership projection indicated about 3,500 riders daily.
The plan calls for 11 stations served by DMU trains running at 15 to 30 minute headways. A future expansion would stretch to Castroville where riders could transfer to the planned commuter rail line to San Jose and San Francisco. Some of the operating costs will be paid out of revenue from a transit-oriented development at 8th Street in Marina.
The right-of-way will also serve to open up Monterey Bay to state’s rail network, as intercity trains could eventually use the same corridor to serve the area.