Thursday, April 10, 2008

Funding Puts Transit Project On Fast Track

Funding Puts Transit Project On Fast Track
By Jennifer Gentile
Article Launched: 04/10/2008

With another $2.1 million in funding pledged this week, a Vacaville transportation project with regional implications appears to be on the fast track.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area's transportation planning and finance agency, announced the award on Wednesday. The MTC's Programming and Allocations Committee agreed the money should go to Vacaville's Intermodal Transit Station project, which has been several years in the planning.

"It's just a great opportunity for Solano County," said Supervisor Jim Spering. He added that with the $2.1 million allocation, the $12 million facility is now fully funded.

"This is the piece that we've been missing," Spering said. "And with Vacaville's reputation for delivering projects, it will probably be done quickly."

Funding sources for the project are Regional Measure 2, which increased bridge tolls by $1 in 2004, the State Transportation Development Act and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

The city has selected a six-acre site near the Ulatis Cultural Center for the station.

Phase one of the project includes 200 parking spaces and the facility itself, Vacaville Transit Manager Brian McLean said, which will accommodate up to 10 buses.

Phase two would be a parking structure with up to 400 additional spaces. This phase, according to the MTC, could cost up to $17 million.

Officials said the station will be a hub for both local and inter-city travel, with regional express bus service linking Solano County with both Sacramento and the Pleasant Hill and El Cerrito del Norte BART stations.

McLean said Vacaville City Coach, will move operations from the Vacaville Cultural Center to the new station when open. Construction could begin in spring 2009 and be completed in less than a year.

MTC Spokesman John Goodwin said the full board must confirm the committee's recommendation. The board is expected to do so later this month.

"With unanimous approval at the committee level, it's very likely to happen without opposition," Goodwin said.

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