Funding for Montalvo Metrolink station would benefit SP Branch Line
October 15, 1999
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula NewsThe Ventura County Transportation Commission has to move fast to secure $4 million in federal funding, a portion of which would be used for improvements to the Santa Paula Branch Line.
The main focus has been on using a bulk of the anticipated federal transportation funding to create a Metrolink station in the Montalvo area of Ventura, a process that is creating some controversy among surrounding neighbors who fear the vehicle traffic that might be brought by Metrolink commuters.
The planned Montalvo train station is already the out-of-service home of Metrolink, and would cost about $1 million up front; it could be operational by fall and would be operational for at least five years.
The rest of the federal funding could be utilized for a permanent Montalvo station as well as improvements to the Santa Paula Branch Line. The proposal has a built-in time limit due to the availability of the funding; if action is not taken soon, it could be over four years before the city of Ventura would be able to get in line again to secure such funding.
The Santa Paula Branch Line stretches throughout the Santa Clara River Valley and is slated to eventually hook-up with Metrolink in the Ventura area.
Such a hook-up could broaden exposure for the Fillmore & Western Railway tourist trains as well as bring more visitors to the Santa Clara River Valley, now being marketed as a tourist destination as the Heritage Valley.
Santa Paula hosted a short commuter link-up several years ago to show city residents what would be available in the future allowing travel west to Ventura and the ocean, and east to Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County.
The Santa Paula Branch Line is part of a partnership between cities and the Ventura County Transportation Commission, which is overseeing the effort to place a Metrolink station in Montalvo.