March 29, 2016
The Honorable Brian Kelly
Secretary, California State Transportation Agency
915 Capitol Mall, Suite 350 B
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program
Dear Secretary Kelly:
On behalf of Inland Action, I am pleased to submit this letter of support for the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) grant application submitted by the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) for the Redlands Passenger Rail Project (RPRP). Inland Action is a non-profit organization of business and community leaders dedicated to the economic and community betterment of the Southern California region. Between 2016 and 2060, the population in San Bernardino County is expected to increase by 62 percent, growing from 2.1 million to nearly 3.4 million and making additional transit options critical for this growing region. RPRP will expand passenger rail service options for eastern San Bernardino County through the communities of Redlands and San Bernardino.
This transformative project provides ladders of opportunity for disadvantaged communities that will help connect commuters along the alignment and throughout the region with improved educational and employment opportunities, as well as enhanced access to critical healthcare and veterans’ services. RPRP will broaden and modernize California’s rail connectivity in the Inland Empire by bringing forward a new passenger rail service that connects to the existing San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). The SBTC, completed in 2015, is a modern multi-modal hub currently serving five regional bus operators including a connection to sbX bus rapid transit service and Metrolink commuter rail service starting in 2017.
This new service addresses existing and future traffic congestion by providing a cost-effective alternative travel option in a way that maintains freight service while also improving transit service, travel times, and corridor safety. Additionally, the project will help the Southern California Association of Governments meet statewide air pollution and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
Inland Action fully supports SANBAG as it seeks TIRCP resources for Redlands Passenger Rail Project. We believe that this project will support regional connectivity by offering transportation choices. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Deborah Barmack, President