PERRIS VALLEY LINE - RIBBON CUTTING - SERVICE TO START IN FEBRUARY
On Friday, December 11, 2015, over 350 rail enthusiasts attended the ribbon cutting for the Perris Valley Line (PVL), marking the first expansion of the
Metrolink commuter rail system since 1994. The $248 million PVL project, a 24-mile extension of the existing 91 Line, will provide rail service from
Perris to Union Station in Los Angeles. The extension of Metrolink service is expected to reduce traffic congestion on Interstate 215 and improve
transit options for southwestern Riverside County residents, who have some of the longest commutes in southern California.
Service was originally planned to start in late 2015 but a decision was made to install Positive Train Control technology
in the locomotives, which will push back the opening date until early 2016. Included in the PVL project are four new rail stations;
with two stations - Riverside Hunter Park and Moreno Valley/March Field - located in major job centers. After the official ribbon cutting,
attendees were able to ride the Metrolink train from Downtown Perris to Hunter Business Park. Additional information on the PVL project is available at
http://perrisvalleyline.info. For information on all of the Metrolink services,
Ribbon Cutting Event Photos for PVL
2016 ELECTION OF OFFICERS - CITY OF DESERT HOT SPRINGS' MAYOR SCOTT MATAS ELECTED CHAIR OF RCTC
City of Desert Hot Springs' Mayor Scott Matas was elected to serve as the Commission's Chair for 2016.
Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione will serve as Vice Chair and city of Indian Wells Mayor Dana Reed will serve as Second Vice Chair.
Matas was elected to the city council in 2007 and just elected as mayor in November 2015. Mayor Matas is active in the community, coaches youth sports,
and volunteers for many local charities. He was appointed to the RCTC board in 2008.
Tavaglione was elected to represent the Second Supervisorial District in November 1994 and became a member of RCTC at that time.
He sits on a number of state and regional boards including the state of California's Probation Services Task Force and the
Inland Empire Health Plan, the state of California's second largest public health plan.
He has been a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC)
for the past 20 years, and was elected by California's 58 counties in 2010-2011 to serve as President of the Association,
where he worked closely with Governor Jerry Brown and his administration in negotiating Public Safety and Health/Human Services Realignment.
Reed was elected to the city council in 2014 and was appointed to RCTC in 2014 as well.
He currently serves as Mayor of Indian Wells and through his career held numerous governmental positions beginning
in 1967 when he was appointed by then Governor Ronald Reagan as Assistant to the Secretary of the Business and Transportation Agency.
GOODS MOVEMENT: AVENUE 52 RIBBON CUTTING
The city of Coachella, in partnership with RCTC, Caltrans, and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments,
celebrated the grand opening of Avenue 52's grade separation project. Completing the flyover bridge not only improved safety,
air quality, and rail efficiency; it also united the community by providing safe routes to and from schools, businesses, and neighborhoods.
Before and After Photos of Avenue 52
CONGRESS PASSES FIVE YEAR HIGHWAY BILL
A long-term United States highway bill, Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST), was signed into law on December 3, 2015.
FAST provides for a five-year, $305 billion highway bill paid for with gas tax revenues and a package of $70 billion in offsets from the federal budget.
The bulk of the funding - approximately $205 billion - is for highway projects; $48 billion is available for transit related projects.
RCTC staff will be reviewing the bill over the next month.
PUBLIC FORUM - SAVE THE DATE
The California Transportation Commission, Southern California Association of Governments, San Bernardino Associated Governments,
and Riverside County Transportation Commission are hosting a public forum on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at the Riverside County
Administrative building, located at 4080 Lemon Street, Riverside, California, to discuss and gain public input on road infrastructure
and maintenance needs at the local, regional, and state level.