|Proposed: RTA has proposed extending Route 61 to the Perris Station Transit Center.|
Graphic: Riverside Transit Agency
By: Nicholas Ventrone, Community Engagement Director
My next several posts will be Let's Debate articles on the specific routing proposals for the Riverside Transit Agency's proposed 10 Year Transit Plan. The proposed plan includes system-wide route changes and want to ensure that I cover each of them. Public open house meetings have begun today with comments due to RTA by October 7.
To kick all of this off, I'll start by taking a look at bus routes proposed to connect with the Metrolink Perris Valley Line starting with connections to/from Southwest Riverside County.
Currently, Route 208 is the CommuterLink express route that runs in between Riverside and Temecula via Perris and is currently the designated express route for the I-215 corridor which also serves as a peak hour Metrolink rail feeder. The proposed transit plan calls for the route to be maintained with additional morning and afternoon trips.
Route 61 Proposed to Connect to PVL at Perris
Outside of peak hours, current Southwest county transit riders needing to access the Metrolink system or other points north like Riverside and Moreno Valley have to go through a very slow bus journey. Such midday and weekend trips can span several hours. As a solution combined with the Metrolink Perris Valley Line project, The Transit Coalition has called for Route 61 to be further streamlined so that it can be extended north to the Perris Station Transit Center. Not only would that connect Southwest to the PVL for the off-peak train departures, that would also provide direct connections to Routes 22 and 27 to Riverside and Route 19 to Moreno Valley. That will considerably improve Southwest Riverside County inter-regional connections in a productive manner. Now, RTA has made it an official proposal in its proposed 10 Year Transit Plan. We hope this proposal moves forward and fast.
However, with the route streamlining, there will be some service disruptions here and there. In fairness, these negated areas should still be addressed and not ignored by transit planners.
First, Temecula's primary local bus transfer hub now at the County Center area is proposed to be merged with the Promenade Mall CommuterLink transfer point. On the surface, that is a very sound proposal. In fact, The Transit Coaltion has called for better local-to-CommuterLink connections in the region. Making the Promenade Mall area the region's designated transit hub will address that while we wait for the coming of the Twin Cities Transit Center. I have no problem supporting the merge as a whole. But the minor issue is maintaining transit mobility in the County Center area with the presence of the government offices there with at least one through bus route. I'll take a closer look at this connectivity issue and will address it more in detail when the Temecula routing proposals are analyzed.
|Past-Recommendation: East/West Clinton Keith Rd bus route.|
Graphic: RTA 2007 COA
In the north Murrieta and Menifee region, Route 61 is proposed to serve Antelope Road and no longer deviate to points east. I believe this solution would be best for the area. Again, this will speed up through-trips and improve productivity. Unlike the connectivity situation with the Orchard Stone Creek shopping center, destinations via Antelope Road are more active and should warrant a direct bus route. With the presence of a college campus, shopping centers, and higher density multi-family housing units, the proposed realignment is sound. East of Antelope, lower density tract and some rural development dominate the Menifee Road corridor. Regarding connectivity with these lower density areas, city officials should work with RTA on improving the pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure between Menifee Road and Antelope so transit-dependent riders living in the outer tracts can continue to have safe access to/from the route. In addition, Route 74 will continue to serve parts of the affected areas in Menifee on weekdays and establishing a timed transfer at MSJC can help offset the mobility issues.
Finally, in Sun City, RTA has proposed realigning Route 61 and 40 to be more direct, allowing for a much better streamlined hub-and-spoke routing through the area. Establishing a timed transfer between the lines at the Sun City Center hub would address any minor connectivity issues with the realignments.