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May 2015

RCTC'S FISCAL YEAR 2015/16 BUDGET INTRODUCED

During the next fiscal year, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (Commission) will spend more than $1 billion on a variety of projects and programs. Work continues on the 91 Project that, when finished in 2017, will add two tolled express lanes and the addition of a general purpose lane in each direction of State Route 91 between the Orange County line and Interstate 15. Another regionally significant project is the Perris Valley Line (PVL), which will extend commuter rail service from Downtown Riverside to South Perris. Passenger service on the PVL is projected to begin in late 2015. The Commission is also actively pursuing completion of the environmental, design, right of way, and construction processes on the I-215 Corridor Improvement Project and the I-15 Express Lanes Project. Management of smaller programs such as commuter and motorist assistance will also continue to be a top priority.

The Commission opened a public hearing on the proposed budget at its May 13, 2015 meeting and is expected to adopt the budget at the June 10, 2015 Commission meeting.

During FY 2015/16, regional programs including Metrolink's commuter rail, transit services, commuter and motorist assistance, planning, and programming will receive approximately $123 million in funding. Much of that funding is received from state sales tax sources and is passed through to individual transit operators. Measure A funding - the half-cent transportation sales tax - is also used for public and specialized transit services.

STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

The Commission is undertaking a strategic assessment of Riverside County's transportation landscape. This nine-month effort will look at current conditions, forecasts for future mobility needs and funding available, combined with input from the public and key stakeholders. This effort will lay the groundwork for the Commission to set priorities for the next 10 years of Measure A and future regional plans. Stay tuned for opportunities for public input on your vision for transportation in Riverside County. For additional strategic assessment details, click here.

PRINCIPLES FOR STATE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING

Declining revenue for transportation projects has long been on the minds of elected officials throughout Riverside County. Currently, there are multiple legislative proposals under development that would raise between $3-5 billion annually for transportation infrastructure. The proposals are almost exclusively focused on maintenance and operation of existing state highways and local roads. The Commission has been keeping a close eye on transportation funding and, as previously reported, is concerned Riverside County local governments are expected to lose about one-fourth of their gas tax revenue in the next fiscal year, a $26 million loss to Riverside County alone. As a result, several transportation projects are in jeopardy including the SR-71/SR-91 interchange, SR-60 truck climbing lane, French Valley Parkway interchange and the I-10/Monroe and Jackson interchanges. In an effort to provide meaningful input to the various legislative proposals being considered, the Commission adopted the following guiding State funding principles:

  1. Restore funds for transportation projects;
  2. Regional share, decision-making, and equity;
  3. Geographic equity for state funds;
  4. User-pay + User-benefit;
  5. Reduce the costs of delivery; and
  6. Fund trade corridors

For a copy of the staff report, click here.

STATE ROUTE 91 HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE PROJECT UPDATE

The long awaited and much needed SR-91 High Occupancy Vehicle Project continues to move forward and the mainline is scheduled to be open to traffic by late 2015. The Ivy Street overhead bridge and the Pachappa underpass are scheduled for completion in spring 2016. The complex project includes construction of a carpool lane in each direction for six miles from the 60/91/215 interchange to Adams Street and requires the replacement or reconstruction of every bridge along the corridor. To add to the project complexity, 225 utility relocations were required - many of which had to be moved during actual construction in a highly congested corridor with 100+ years of infrastructure to work around.

COACHELLA VALLEY - SAN GORGONIO PASS RAIL CORRIDOR SERVICE

The Commission's project was the only rail corridor in the county to receive a highly competitive $2.98 million grant from the Federal Railroad Association to fund preliminary planning for daily Amtrak train service between Indio and Los Angeles. Currently, there are limited transit connections between Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley with Amtrak's Sunset Limited stopping in Palm Springs three times a week. The service being studied will provide new travel options between job centers and Coachella Valley tourism destinations. Additional project study details are available at http://www.rctc.org/rail/coachella-valley-rail-service.

I-215 Bi-COUNTY RIBBON CUTTING

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Speaker’s Bureau

The Commission maintains a speaker's bureau that actively makes presentations throughout the county on transportation issues. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your service club or community organization, please contact Eliza Echevarria at (951) 787-7141 or eechevarria@rctc.org.

Commissioners and/or staff participated at the following events:

April 9: University of California, Riverside, (UCR) Neighborhood meeting - Perris Valley Line (PVL) Project

April 9: 4th Annual Coachella Valley Economic Forecast Summit - Indian Wells

April 14: 2015 State of the City Address - City of Eastvale

April 16: Lake Elsinore Chamber Meeting - Presentation on Various RCTC Projects - Riverside

April 23: Coachella Valley Rail Meeting with Senator Feinstein Staff - Rancho Mirage

April 23: 2015 Logistics and Supply Chain Summit - Pomona

April 23: Lakeview Nuevo MAC Presentation - RCTC Project Update

April 29: 11th Annual Pulse of the Ports - Long Beach

April 30: California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy Conference - Oakland

May 4: Public Information Meeting -
I-15/Railroad Canyon Interchange Improvement Project - Lake Elsinore

May 7 - 8: Southern California Association of Governments' General Assembly - Palm Desert

May 8: Riverside Chamber of Commerce - Government Affairs Committee

May 12: UCR's Freight and Sustainable Communities Forum - Riverside

May 13: T-NOW Meeting - Hemet

UPCOMING POLICY MEETINGS

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, no committee meetings are scheduled. The next regular meeting of the Commission is scheduled for June 10, 2015. Please visit the RCTC website at http://www.rctc.org/about-us/agendas-and-meetings a few days prior to the meeting to download the agenda and check to make sure the meeting has not been cancelled.

Follow RCTC on Twitter

If you use Twitter, you can follow the Commission at twitter.com/RCTC.

RCTC'S 511 PROGRAM

twitter.com/ie511Interested in what’s happening with traffic in the Inland Empire? IE511 is your best source for getting around Southern California. Real‑time traffic for Southern California, including travel times, freeway cameras, and incident information. IE511 also offers bus and rail transit information as well as rideshare for those seeking an alternative to automobile travel. Connect on the go. Call 511 within the Inland Empire or rely on IE511 wherever you go by calling 1‑877‑MYIE511.

Riverside County Transportation Commission
P.O. Box 12008 • Riverside, CA 92502‑2208 • Phone: (951) 787‑7141 • Fax: (951) 787‑7920
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