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Cities consider transit projects
Metrolink hoped to go to Redlands

Andrew Silva, Staff Writer


For Sanbag (San Bernardino Associated Governments) at

For Omnitrans at and

For Metrolink trains at
Comparing costs of using Metrolink vs a car
Click for to enlarge chart
• Alternative vehicle - video: Commuters take advantage of Metrolink 11.5MB .mov format

Instead of crawling into a car to wade into the slow-moving mess on Interstate 10, it might be possible to walk down from your second-story apartment, pick up coffee in the shop below, and stroll to the train station for the commute to Los Angeles.
That's the vision in plans to extend Metrolink commuter-rail service about 10 miles east from San Bernardino into Loma Linda and Redlands.

The five or more stations that would be built along the line are seen as catalysts for new high-density developments that would feature retail, office and residential units within easy walking distance of the rail line and new bus services.

To win federal money for the project, the three city councils must buy into the idea of such transit-oriented development, also known as smart growth or new urbanism.

"I think it has real potential," said Redlands Mayor Jon Harrison.

Officials hope to go after $75 million from the federal government, with the total cost of the project roughly estimated at $150 million.

Officials are seeking input at two more workshops this month to see how the public feels about the plans, and to hear which alternatives for development people prefer.

Metrolink service now ends at the historic Santa Fe Depot on Third Street in San Bernardino. An additional mile of track from the depot to east of E Street just south of Rialto Avenue has already been laid, but isn't being used.

Omnitrans, the valley's bus agency, is planning a major transit center at the southwest corner of E Street and Rialto Avenue, next to where the rail extension is proposed.

An appraisal for the land was just completed, and the agency will soon begin the process of buying the land for the project, said Omnitrans General Manager Durand Rall.

Dubbed the Transcenter, the $13 million project will provide a central location where bus riders will be able to switch buses, get on Metrolink or take the proposed high-speed bus service planned by Omnitrans, called sbX.

"We want to look at the entire area as transit-oriented," Rall said.

Eventually, private developers would be expected to come in to build the shops and apartments or condominiums around the Transcenter and the other proposed stations.

With Carousel Mall slated to become a mixed-use development, and the city's downtown lake project still on the drawing board, there is plenty of potential for San Bernardino to become a prime example of transit-friendly development, he said.

The Transcenter is at least two years away and probably three or more, which puts it ready by 2010, when Omnitrans' sbX, which will run along E Street between Cal State San Bernardino and the hospitals in Loma Linda, is scheduled to begin.

Other stations along the remaining nine miles of the proposed extension, possibly all the way to the University of Redlands, would be expected to spur development as well, with planners examining variations on projects that make the most sense for each location.

Development around a station on Tippecanoe Avenue, a little north of Hospitality Lane, might focus on commercial development, given the area already has a lot of light industry nearby, said Elaine Carbrey, a planner with Gruen Associates, an architectural and planning firm working on the extension.

A station in downtown Redlands would serve a more mixed type of development, which would feature residential and retail, something Redlands has been working on, she said.

The extension of Metrolink service would not use existing trains.

Instead, that stretch would be served by a "diesel multiunit," a self-propelled train that has no separate locomotive.

Commuters coming from Redlands or Loma Linda would have to switch from the diesel multiunit to the regular Metrolink trains at the Transcenter.

The entire extension probably won't be complete for eight to 10 years, officials estimate.

The workshops for the proposals will be held from:

6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Market Night on State Street in Redlands.

4 to 6:30 p.m. July 31 at the senior center, 25571 Barton Road, Loma Linda.

9 Posts
so are communities like Hemet, Lake Elsinore, and Temecula not mentioned much when talking about the IE because you dont really consider them to be the in the IE or because nothing is there?

213 Posts
biggerthings said:
so are communities like Hemet, Lake Elsinore, and Temecula not mentioned much when talking about the IE because you dont really consider them to be the in the IE or because nothing is there?
nothing there? the entire Temecula Valley region has a population of roughly 300,000.... there's a whole lotta something there (it's where I grew up) :cheers:

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Gold Line going to Montclair
Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Article Launched:11/09/2006 12:00:00 AM PST

MONTCLAIR - In about 10 years, Inland Empire residents, business owners and commuters will have a direct new transportation access into Azusa, Pasadena and Los Angeles.
Although there is a slight delay in the construction and federal funding process, supporters of the Gold Line light rail expanding into Montclair are optimistic about the revitalized transportation system.

"Montclair is already a transportation hub in the area," said City Engineer Mike Hudson. "The Gold Line would bring more in alternative ways to getting to (Los Angeles)."

A few years ago, Hudson said, the first phase of the light rail was completed from Union Station in Los Angeles to Pasadena, ending near the Arcadia border.

Now the proposed idea is to design a route for the Gold Line to continue to Arcadia, Monrovia, Irwindale, Azusa, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair.

Based on current plans, there are two segments of the extension process known as Phase II. Segment 1 will run 11.4 miles from Pasadena to Azusa. Segment 2 will run 12.5 miles from Azusa to the Montclair station.

"We have a 1,600-parking-space lot - that's the largest along the Metrolink corridor," Hudson said.



"The Gold Line will be able to share the common lot with Metrolink parking."
The light rail differs from the existing Metrolink because its trains rely on electrical contact. It has lighter steel and a lighter train.

According to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Web site,, the train will offer shorter commuting trips, increased energy savings and reduced levels of pollution.

Construction has been slightly delayed because of the Federal Transit Authority's request for recalibration of a computer model that helps project ridership and travel benefits, said Susan Hodor, public affairs director for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Expansion Construction Authority.

Upon completion and acceptance of the new model, authorities will move closer to a decision and the potential for a full-funding grant agreement from the FTA.

"We are looking to have the Gold Line extended to Azusa in the years 2011 or 2012 and to Montclair about four years later," Hodor said.

The cost of construction for the first segment of Phase II is $402 million. The second segment, about $760 million, will cost more based on maintenance and facility.

Money for the project will need to come from federal grants as well as local matching funds.

Despite the perceived need for alternative transportation, construction for the extended Gold Line has been delayed.

The best-case scenario, Hodor said, is that the agency will be able to break ground for the first segment in Azusa in late 2008.

"It's really exciting for the region to see everyone committed to making a new type of transportation," she said.

Based on the increasing congestion that has developed on the Interstate 210 extension and the demand for more businesses and housing developments in the Inland Empire, Hodor said there is a definite need for the Gold Line in Montclair.

"We are building as people are planning to grow and expand their cities," she said.

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Transportation planning shifts into high gear
Staff Reports
Article Launched:11/09/2006 12:00:00 AM PST

Road projects in San Bernardino County should move faster now that state voters approved a big transportation bond.
Proposition 1B means $19.9 billion for state roads and other infrastructure projects.

Of that amount, $4.5 billion is set aside for projects to reduce congestion, and that's one of the main parts of the bond that local transportation planners will go after.

Projects have to be under construction by 2012 to qualify.

Among the projects expected to benefit:

Interstate 10, Fontana, Bloomington, Rialto: new interchanges at Cherry, Citrus, Cypress, Cedar, Riverside and Pepper avenues; $250 million.

Interstate 10, Yucaipa, Redlands: new westbound lane from Live Oak Canyon Road to Ford Street; $36 million.

Interstate 215, San Bernardino: widening of six miles of freeway between Interstate 10 and Highway 30, including new bridges and interchanges; $650 million.

Interstate 215, Colton, Grand Terrace: if money for the San Bernardino portion of I-215 is obtained, local money may be kicked to the widening project south of I-10 to the Riverside County line.

Interstate 15, Victorville: rebuilt interchanges at D and E streets, Stoddard Wells Road, and a brand new interchange at La Mesa Road/Nisqualli Road; $70 million.

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A committee designed to keep the Redlands Passenger Rail Project moving full steam ahead held its first meeting Thursday, but some attendees were not onboard with the plan to extend a Metrolink line from San Bernardino to Redlands.

County Supervisor James Ramos formed the committee and was named chairman of the Rail to Redlands Working Group on Thursday afternoon.

"It's important to include stakeholders to make sure they can start to hear where the project is going and stay up to date," he said after the meeting in the University of Redlands' Armacost Library.

A station is being designed on the south side of the university. It would be the final stop on the line that connects to downtown San Bernardino and continues west to downtown Los Angeles.

San Bernardino Associated Governments is leading the project. There was not going to be a stop at Esri until founder Jack Dangermond called SanBAG, said Mitch Alderman, the agency's director of transit and rail programs.

Esri offered to pay for the construction, maintenance and security for a platform near its campus on New York Street.

Don Berry, the director of company operations at Esri, said the company was looking forward to having the station nearby.

"We think it will add a lot, both to the community and our business and add to our future growth," he said.

Downtown Redlands will also be growing


with the implementation the RPRP, which is "optimistically" projected to start running in 2017, Alderman said.
Designs for a 400-space parking structure and transit center with stores and restaurants are nearing completion.

The project's local impact concerned a few Redlands residents at the meeting.

Larry Leonard was disturbed by the finances, especially the low rate of farebox recovery - the percentage of the ride covered by a purchased ticket.

According to Sanbag, the farebox recovery will be 45 percent, meaning the government subsidizes more than half the cost of a passenger's ride. The line from San Bernardino to L.A. recovers 60 percent of costs from purchased tickets, Alderman said.

"There won't be any new taxes " to pay for this," Alderman said.

Residents also expressed concerns over noise pollution, traffic congestion, environmental emissions and safety at street crossings.

Alderman said all those issues are being studied and factored into the Environmental Impact Report, which is scheduled to be finished April 2014.

The public will be able to comment on the EIR before its final submission.

The next Rail to Redlands Working Group meeting was scheduled for Sept. 19.

Ramos thanked committee members and the public for attending and said it was nice to hear praise and concerns for the project.

"It's the future, and we have to do it right," said Paul Granillo, the president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and vice chairman of the committee.
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