The Point: Funds will create strategic plan and spur jobs, housing, economic recovery

A plan to improve access to mass transit and promote economic recovery in communities near Metrolink’s 91/Perris Valley Line is in the works, due to the Federal Transit Administration’s award of a $700,000 grant on June 11 to the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

RCTC is one of 23 agencies nationwide and one of three in California to receive grant funding from the FTA Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development. Applications were due in November.

The grant will allow RCTC to work with private sector partners and representatives from the cities of Perris, Riverside and Corona and the March Joint Powers Authority to create a strategic plan for transit-oriented development. The plan will focus on development within a five-mile radius of Metrolink stations that serve the 91/Perris Valley Line.

These efforts will accelerate public and private investment, create private sector jobs, and add housing near train stations, all of which will aid in the economic recovery of Riverside County, recently hard-hit by job losses from COVID-19.

“As the owner and operator of nine Metrolink stations in Riverside County, RCTC will work closely with our public-private partners to make it easier to access our passenger rail network and to create vibrant stations with retail amenities,” said RCTC Chair and Wildomar City Council Member Ben J. Benoit. “This will create jobs and improve the overall mass transit experience for Metrolink riders and station neighbors,” he said.

Riverside Hunter Park Metrolink Station

The strategic planning process will include identifying and removing barriers to development near train stations, determining properties that would support private investment for housing and job creation, developing policies for mixed-use development and mixed-income housing near the stations, defining funding opportunities, and evaluating land-use near each station to forecast transit ridership and other factors.

RCTC will convene private sector and local agency partners during the next fiscal year to begin the study process.

RCTC thanks its congressional representatives and the U.S. Department of Transportation for its award of this grant.