Stop the Madness: Incline the Private Sector to Invest in the Vine Street Riverside Transit Center and a bridge across the freeway.
Lack of public funding has long been a reason why many Riverside Transit
buses don't operate during late night hours and why several capital
improvement projects seem to be moving along at a snail's pace. This
includes a long-awaited transit center just footsteps from the train
platforms at the Downtown Riverside Metrolink Station. However, there
may be some contributing factors behind this "lack of funding"
appearance. As The Transit Coalition and local press have been
reporting, political games with Inland Empire transportation money have
reached epidemic proportions. The
September 2012 RTA Board of Directors Agenda illustrates the latest
money madness with not only Downtown Riverside's Metrolink bus transit
center project, but also a planned inter-modal facility in Temecula.
Lack of Public Funding Efficiency and Fairness in Temecula:
The federal government awarded RTA over $1.3 million toward the
development of an intermodal transit center in Southwest Riverside
County at the border of Temecula and Murrieta. Despite the fact that the
Twin Cities Transit Center has been
in RTA's plans for several years, the Federal Transit Administration
de-obligated and rescinded those funds because the money appeared to sit
idle for too long. The problem is RTA was caught in a catch-22
situation; additional funding had
to be secured before the federal money could be spent. How can the feds
expect RTA to spend money on a worthwhile project that the agency
The Politics of the Vine Street Riverside Transit Center:
Likewise, $7 million has been secured to date for a transit center in
Downtown Riverside that was planned to be built next to the nearby
Metrolink station. However, the same federal time clock is ticking on $3
million of its funds. Earlier
in September, the Riverside City Council responded by
allocating the federal money toward improvements of the existing
Downtown Terminal station with the local money toward the Metrolink
transit station. However, the City Council does not have fiduciary
responsibility over the project's
funds; RTA does...and the transit agency had other plans.
Back to the Downtown Terminal Drawing Board:
The RTA Board of Directors instead voted to direct the transit center's local money toward
a full scrap-and-build renovation of the existing Downtown Terminal
and the next door Greyhound bus station at $4.5 million. The remaining
federal money would be spent on constructing bus bays, not at the
downtown Metrolink station,
but at the RCTC-proposed Hunter Park train station.
Incline the Private Sector to Invest in the Station:
The truth is the Downtown Riverside area is in desperate need of a
private sector job marketplace and The Transit Coalition has offered
concepts to address this. A strong private marketplace is imperative for
a healthy public transportation system. And we are not buying "lack of
funding" until the political football games stop.
Public transportation officials need to understand that giant money
games like these which are going on at all levels of the public sector
negates mobility and quality of life.
Once again The Transit Coalition believes public agencies should respect
transportation dollars, coordinate efforts, and work together for a
first-rate transit system. Bickering and strict rules only game the
system and we all pay for it.
The City of Riverside is starved for private sector jobs and is long
overdue for a multi-modal transit center with across-the-platform
rail-to-bus connections. Incline the private sector to invest in the
downtown Metrolink station. "Lack of funding" is no excuse.