Monday, April 13, 2009

Transportation Committee, 4/9

So I've been quiet. My various roles in life have been catching up to me lately, and I've taken some time off from blogging last week because everything else was so overwhelming. I won't bother you with the details. I'll just get in to where I left off: the Transportation Committee meeting last Thursday.

Two major items were on the agenda: Greyhound and High-Speed Rail. I didn't even know about the latter, but it was pretty awesome.

On the issue of Greyhound, the planning department of the City recommended to the Committee that the City push forward in building a true intermodal transit center at the Downtown Metrolink, to include RTA, Metrolink, Amtrak, and, as Councilman Melendrez made repeatedly clear, as many private bus operators as could be persuaded to join in on the plan. The Councilman also suggested that the visibility of our city's Amtrak service should be raised, a point I agree with strongly. While all members were highly in favour of said transit center (including Councilman Adams! *gasp*), the Committee did not actually address the issue of the current Greyhound station, as the action item on their desk was "to recommend that the City work with Greyhound should they choose to return to the city in the future" (paraphrasing). However, the public comments made clear that the issue is far from closed in the minds of those affected.
A member of the Eastside community, frequent commenter Karen Wright, a few other members of the public representing themselves, the president of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce (amazingly) and myself commented on the issue. With the exception of the CoC President, every single person there made clear that continuous, uninterrupted Greyhound service to Riverside is important to us. I also delivered a petition of around a hundred signatures at UCR. The public opinion on the issue is clear from both those who attend these meetings and those who comment in the local paper: Greyhound must stay.
The Chamber President, to my happy surprise, strongly supported the idea of an intermodal transit center. She did not directly address the issue of Greyhound leaving, though I am told in the past her organization was a driving force behind ridding Downtown of Greyhound.
To sum up: Hope on the horizon for a modern intermodal transit center at the downtown Metrolink. Probably no action on saving Greyhound anytime soon. We shall see at the next Council meeting.

Secondly, the CA-HSRA was at the meeting to present to the Committee the alignment issues with the LAX-SAN segment, which is due to pass through Riverside. Though this was a very early advisory meeting, I see one possible snag. Apparently RCTC has asked the HSRA to consider running the train through Corona instead of Riverside. Councilmen Gardner and Melendrez rightly shot this idea down, but Councilman Adams (our rep to RCTC) sounded like he favoured said route. I commented to suggest a few alignment and station locations, and implored the HSRA to link the train to our current transport infrastructure (such as it is). This is in the very early, early stages, but please keep your eye on it. This route will be decided, and it MUST MUST MUST run through Riverside. Don't let RCTC move it to Corona for no good reason.


twodogkd said...

Nice post. Good information.

Please tell everyone to come and speak out at tonights meeting to Save Riverside Greyhound.

The Multimodal Transit Center is ON tonight's City Councilagenda April 14 at 6:30 pm, Agenda item 14

This is the link to the 57 page backup to Agenda Item 14 which as weasal worded could mean that Greyhound will be pushed out of the Transit Center, that they city could try to put the Transit Center at the La Sierra Metrolink (horrible no egress, not near downtown or well much of anything), they could peel out Greyhound and NOT include it in any transit Center planned, and as you pointed out this does not address the fact that Riverside Greyhound is currently schedule to be forced out of Riverside on June 30.

If Riverside City Council wants to keep Greyhound in Downtown Riverside or in Riverside they will have to take action to provide Greyhound longterm assurance they can stay at their current downtown location until such time as a location may be found where they may be located near downtown and co located with the RTA Hub.

twodogkd said...

Link to IE CL Politics posts on Greyhound

(this will pull up whatever posts over the last 30 days mention greyhound, at the time it is clicked)