Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 2:54 am | Fair 60º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank

Goleta Shows Unanimous Support for Commuter Rail Program

Goleta city officials get behind Santa Barbara's proposal to bring commuter rail to the region by improving existing Amtrak systems.

Santa Barbara City Council members walked out of Goleta CityHall Monday evening with unanimous endorsementfrom the Goleta City Council for their proposed rail and transit program. 

“I like this plan,” said Goleta City Council memberJonny Wallis.

The presentation was part of an effort by the city of SantaBarbara and the Santa Barbara Council of Associated Governments to elicitsupport for On-TRAC: A Plan of Transit/Rail Action for Commuters, a programintended to improve transportation in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Theprogram has its roots in SBCAG’s 101 in Motion report, finalized in 2006, whichcalled for another freeway lane and commuter rail.

With the failure of MeasureD renewal and its ¼-cent increase, however, funds for the rail portion of theplan dried up, leaving rail proponents to find alternative ways of bringingcommuter trains to the region.

“We’re talking about in many ways the economic future andvitality of the area,” Santa Barbara City Council Member Roger Horton, who,along with members Grant House and Helene Schneider comprise the Council RailSubcommittee. Horton pointed out the difficulties of recruiting and maintaininga workforce that must commute because of the high housing prices in the area.

“Wehave concluded that only by making the commute easier and safe and moreconvenient and inexpensive will we be able to retain the economic vitality andgrowth in the economy our cities need,” he said.

Among the steps included in the On-TRAC program are the revisingof existing Amtrak train timetables to complement commuters’ schedules andtrack improvements for more efficient operations. Increased bus service isanother component of the plan.

While questions about the total cost of the project couldnot be easily answered, the idea, said Jim Kemp, SBCAG executive director, wasto build the project up in increments while gauging support and effectiveness.

The committee is looking at federal and state sources, as well as a renewed andrestructured Measure D for funding.

Schneider said because of the necessity of getting variousagencies together over such a far-reaching project, the programcan take more than a year to get rolling, but the reception to the proposal hasbeen “really enthusiastic” nonetheless.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >