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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis March 8, 2014
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Metrolink Breaks Ground for Two Extensions

Local governmental agencies in the Inland Empire region of California recently broke ground for two extensions of Metrolink commuter rail service.

San Bernardino
In downtown San Bernardino, CA, Metrolink and partners broke ground for two projects: a one-mile extension of commuter rail service beginning at the historic Santa Fe Depot, and an intermodal facility where the line will terminate. Other partners in the Downtown San Bernardino ­Passenger Rail Project include FTA, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), Omnitrans, and the city of San Bernardino.

The Santa Fe Depot, currently the end of the line for Metrolink, will undergo renovations including a new rail boarding area, with a pedestrian bridge providing safe access over the tracks. The extension will operate with double tracks.

The multimodal San Bernardino Transit Center will connect Metrolink trains with Omnitrans local bus routes and sbX Bus Rapid Transit service scheduled to begin in April. Other agencies in the region will also provide bus service to the facility, equipped with 22 bus bays and a 7,500-square-foot building.

“The San Bernardino Transit Center is a true partnership between SANBAG and Omnitrans,” said Omnitrans Chairman Alan Wapner. “For more than a decade, Omnitrans has envisioned a full-service transit center in downtown San ­Bernardino that would offer greater convenience for commuters, enhanced connectivity for the entire region, improved efficiencies for transit operations, and opportunities for economic development.”

Completion of the transit center is expected by early 2015, while the Metrolink extension and Santa Fe Depot modifications should be finished by summer 2016.

Perris Valley
The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) recently began construction of the 24-mile-long Perris Valley Metrolink Extension at a site in Riverside. The $248.3 million project will extend the current 91 Line to new stations in North Riverside, Moreno ­Valley/March Field, Downtown Perris, and South Perris/Menifee.

When the line is completed in late 2015, it will be the first expansion of the Metrolink system in terms of added mileage since 1994.

“The extension of train service from Riverside to Perris creates a critical link for Riverside County residents to reach new job centers,” said Judy Carpenter, president/chief operating officer of ­Riverside Medical Clinic and Chair of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. “It also creates an opportunity to attract new businesses and employers that will have significant access to a skilled workforce.”

An artist's rendering of the San Bernardino Transit Center, a multimodal facility that will provide connections for Metrolink commuter rail and several bus systems.

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