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Come Monday, It’s All Aboard for Commuter Rail Service in Santa Barbara County

Commuters coming and going from Ventura County get Pacific Surfliner stops in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta

As of Monday, commuters will be able to ride Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to and from Ventura County. In addition to stops in Carpinteria and Santa Barbara, the train is scheduled to arrive at the Goleta station, 25 S. La Patera Lane, at 7:16 a.m. and will depart for Ventura County at 4:25 p.m. Click to view larger
As of Monday, commuters will be able to ride Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to and from Ventura County. In addition to stops in Carpinteria and Santa Barbara, the train is scheduled to arrive at the Goleta station, 25 S. La Patera Lane, at 7:16 a.m. and will depart for Ventura County at 4:25 p.m. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County’s long-awaited commuter train from Ventura County will be rolling through the South Coast on Monday, all the way to Goleta. There’s already plenty of interest.

Traffic Solutions, a division of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governnments, has received requests from more than 1,200 people for free 10-day train passes for the new early morning passenger train service connecting Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, according to Gregg Hart, deputy director of SBCAG.

“The passes are being delivered to 400 passengers per week over the first three weeks of operation to smooth out passenger loads on the new train,” he said.

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner morning train, No. 759, will travel from Ventura County in the morning; the afternoon return train is No. 792.

The train is scheduled to arrive in Carpinteria, 475 Linden Ave., at 6:34 a.m.; Santa Barbara, 209 State St., at 6:47 a.m.; and Goleta, 25 S. La Patera Lane, at 7:16 a.m.

In the evening, the train is to depart at 4:25 p.m. from Goleta, 4:40 p.m. from Santa Barbara, 4:55 p.m. from Carpinteria, 5:26 p.m. from Ventura and arriving in Oxnard at 5:40 p.m.

Commuter rail has been a dream of alternative-transportation advocates for years. More than 15,000 people live in Ventura County and drive to their jobs in Santa Barbara County daily, snarling traffic during commuting hours on Highway 101 through Carpinteria and Montecito.

Previously, the only train from Ventura County that traveled to Goleta didn’t arrive until 10:43 a.m., far too late for employers that typically require workers to arrive at their jobs by 9 a.m. or earlier.

After years of talks and negotiations, Amtrak, Union Pacific, and Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have worked out a deal to re-time the train so that it arrives earlier in the day. SBCAG plans to spend up to $2.5 million of Measure A money to fund the service.

The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District will provide bus service from the train stations to key employment centers in both Santa Barbara in Goleta.

In Santa Barbara, buses will transport riders to the downtown core and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. In Goleta, buses will provide service east and west along Hollister Avenue to employment centers, primarily in the Goleta Corporate Park area and in Old Town and the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital area.

SBCAG will host an event to celebrate the first week of service from 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. Friday at the Goleta Amtrak station. Click here for more information about Traffic Solutions.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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