The purpose of the Grade Separation program is to reduce the number of at-grade (street-level) crossings on the Caltrain railroad. Grade separations improve safety for people walking, biking, and driving when crossing the railroad and help to relieve congestion on local streets. Grade separations also enhance the operations of the Caltrain rail lines by reducing potential conflicts and delays.
As defined by the 2004 Transportation Expenditure Plan, Measure A provides the Grade Separation category with a 15 percent share of the sales tax revenue collected. Similarly, as defined by the 2018 Congestion Relief Plan, Measure W provides the Grade Separation category with a 2.5 percent share of the sales tax revenue collected. According to the 2020-2024 Transportation Authority Strategic Plan, both measures are projected to produce approximately $298 million in available funding for this program ($230 million from the remaining 15 years of Measure A and $68 million for the 30 year life of Measure W).
Due to the high cost of grade separation projects and the limited funding available through the new Measure A and Measure W, the TA Board adopted guiding principles setting the framework to establish a pipeline of grade separation projects. These programming policies have allowed four pipeline projects to be considered for funding including: the 25th Avenue project in San Mateo, Broadway in Burlingame, Ravenswood in Menlo Park and South Linden/Scott Ave in the Cities of South San Francisco and San Bruno. However, up to $5 million in Measure A funding is available for the planning of other grade separations in San Mateo County that are not included in the project pipeline list. To date, only the City of Redwood City has requested planning funding to examine the potential grade separation of Whipple Ave, Brewster Avenue and Broadway.