A rendering of the new Goleta train depot. (Anil Verma Associates photo)
A rendering of the new Goleta train depot design. (Anil Verma Associates photo)

The Goleta City Council voted Tuesday to add more money to its train depot project design contract.

That adds $220,000 to the professional design services agreement with Anil Verma Associates, Inc.

City staff said that the original project schedule has been extended due to COVID-19 challenges, funding delays, and design changes, but Director of Neighborhood Services Jaime Valdez said that the goal is to award a construction contract and start construction in April 2024.

The Goleta train depot project will create a new train station adjacent to the existing Amtrak platform on South La Patera Lane, with the goal of increasing rail ridership.

The new train depot will have parking, including more than a dozen spots for electric vehicles, a separated bikeway, and bike racks and lockers.

“What we heard from working with the community — some of the bike and pedestrian groups — and working with staff is that we really want to make this a bike and pedestrian-priority project,” said Shawn Kowalewski, an engineer with MNS Engineers.

The existing generator will be a backup for the solar tiles used in the new depot building roof.

A rendering of the new Goleta train depot interior designs. (Anil Verma Associates photo)
A rendering of the new Goleta train depot interior designs. (Anil Verma Associates photo)

Some of the changes that required the addition to the professional design services agreement — which is now up to $2.9 million — include another bathroom, a mezzanine level to conceal utilities and large air-conditioning units, incorporating recommendations from the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition, a site-specific stormwater pollution prevention plan, and other facility enhancements.

The total project budget is more than $25 million. That includes $18 million in grants from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, and matching funds from the city of Goleta.  

City staff plan to come back to the City Council with a final design plan and a request to go out to bid in the fall. City staff also anticipate awarding the construction contract in early spring 2024, with construction beginning soon after.

“The project will improve connections to bus transit, accommodate transit service to/from the Santa Barbara Airport and the University of California Santa Barbara, add new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and allow accommodation for potential future additional train storage that will support increased commuter rail needs,” the city staff report said. “These improvements will make the new facility safer, functional, and inviting.”

More information on the Goleta train depot project is available on the city’s website here.