|Graphic: Los Angeles Metro|
Back then, Los Angeles officials demanded that a centralized terminal be built. The railroad companies objected and proposed a network of aerial connector tracks above the city streets. When the situation was put before the voters, an overwhelming majority wanted a central terminal which would today become Los Angeles Union Station.
Centralized transit stations have long proven to be desirable and feasible both for urban centers and the surrounding suburbs.
In Riverside, we're still waiting on the word of what is going to happen there in terms of getting a robust transit center in town. The debate is whether officials should upgrade the existing Downtown Terminal Station or developing the extra bus bays at the downtown Metrolink station and relocate the transit hub there. Officials have been trying to solve this issue for a decade which has long been mired in one funding issue after another. The Riverside Transit Agency will release its Comprehensive Operations Analysis study within the next few months which would include a recommendation.
As demonstrated by LAUS, we have long advocated for the Riverside Transit Center to be a multi-modal transit hub at the existing Metrolink station and we submit a sound and executable solution that is paid for and won't require decades of waiting. Because the City of Riverside supports building the transit center at the train station, it should designate the Metrolink station area as a specific plan--More specifically, a high density marketplace job hub. Smart growth developers from the private sector would be inclined through tax rebates and the pre-prepared specific plan to develop the transit amenities as part of a robust marketplace job hub over the existing parking lot. The following would be included into the master plan:
- Multiple high density marketplace commercial and mixed-use buildings which would bring in much-needed private sector jobs into downtown Riverside. The building architecture would be visually attractive, grand and be consistent with Riverside's history.
- Additional marketplace smart growth development over the existing parking lot adjacent to the County Administrative center.
- The development of retail storefronts on the bottom floors which includes outlets for intercity transit providers like Greyhound, Megabus, and Amtrak.
- Two or more public parking structures that would be publicly owned. General public would pay a fee. All parking fee revenue to be used solely within the specific plan area. Retail storefront patrons and transit users would park for free using their tickets or receipts for validation at the parking toll booth.
- Two hour metered parking maximums along Vine Street and connecting roads.
- Construction of 15-20 total bus bays along the existing driveway separating the train platforms with the existing parking lot.
- Construction and integration of a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the 91 Freeway within the development, seamlessly connecting the existing pedestrian bridge over the tracks all the way into the County Administrative Center entry plaza area.
- Further incentives and tax breaks would be provided for the property management firms within the specific plans to handle maintenance and security of the public transit stations, bridges, and public parking structures.