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.