Coachella Valley: Passenger Rail Service
Providing some form of passenger rail service to the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass has been a long-standing priority for more than two decades. In order to advance that priority, the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) recently completed and approved a rail study update. The best possible option for this service would be an Amtrak intercity train that travels daily (round-trip) from Indio to Los Angeles with stops in Palm Springs, Banning, and Riverside. This will require ongoing advocacy and support to identify funding and resources to implement this service. In the meantime, Amtrak currently operates the Sunset Limited, a train that serves Palm Springs when it travels between Los Angeles and New Orleans three times a week. To improve performance on this service, Amtrak wants to run the trains daily and make added stops in Riverside and Fullerton. The Commission is supportive of Amtrak’s plan and confirmed its commitment to advocate for daily train service and to pursue a regional daily service for the Coachella Valley.
Click here to download a copy of CVAG’s rail study.
Measure K: Increases Debt Limit For Transportation Projects
On November 2, 2010, voters passed Measure K, a ballot initiative to increase the borrowing cap from $500 million to $975 million on the 30-year half-cent transportation sales tax known as Measure A. The additional debt capacity will be used to fund roads, interchanges, and other ambitious transportation projects including the State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project, Perris Valley Line (an extension of Metrolink’s commuter rail service), as well as regional arterial development in Western Riverside County and the Coachella Valley. The approval of Measure K provides the Commission with added financial flexibility to finance a number of freeway and rail projects in the next few years.
The Commission recently redesigned its website to make it easier to navigate and get the information needed on projects, programs, meetings and business opportunities. In an on-going effort to keep the public informed on up-coming transportation projects, we invite you to explore the following project specific websites:
www.i215project.info — Includes information on the Interstate 215 South project and the south connector project, including project description, costs, and construction start/end dates;
www.sr91project.info — Provides information on the construction of a general purpose lane and two tolled express lanes, including costs and construction timelines for the State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project; and
www.perrisvalleyline.info — The project will extend Metrolink service 24 miles further into Riverside County. The project website provides information on station development as well as project cost and project timeline.