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Officials Celebrate Start of Rail Service Project Connecting Riverside, Perris

The $248 million project, which has been in the works for nearly seven years, will provide Metrolink commuter rail service along Interstate 215.

Officials break ground on the new rail line on Feb. 21, 2014.   Photo courtesy:  Riverside County Transportation Commission.
Officials break ground on the new rail line on Feb. 21, 2014. Photo courtesy: Riverside County Transportation Commission.
The start of construction on a 24-mile commuter rail line that will link Riverside to Menifee was celebrated recently, with officials touting the project as a boon to the regional economy.

"With this brand new Metrolink line, Riverside County commuters will finally be one step closer to traffic relief, as the Perris Valley Line will take an estimated 4,000 cars off the road each day," said Rep. Mark Takano, D- Riverside of the Friday groundbreaking. "Investing in local infrastructure projects is one of the best stimulants for our economy, as they create jobs, increase efficiency, and provide resources for generations to come."

Takano, Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, officials from the Riverside County Transportation Commission and other parties were on hand Feb. 21 for the Perris Valley Line groundbreaking just outside March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley.

The $248 million project, which has been in the works for nearly seven years, will provide Metrolink commuter rail service along Interstate 215, adding four new stops -- Hunter Park in Riverside, near March Reserve Base, downtown Perris, and south Perris, along the Menifee city boundary.

"The extension of train service from Riverside to Perris creates a critical link for Riverside County residents to reach a new jobs center," said Judy Carpenter, president of the Riverside Medical Clinic and chair of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. "It also creates an opportunity to attract new businesses and employers that will have significant access to a skilled workforce."

According to the RCTC, trains along the route will ferry an estimated 4,350 riders daily. reducing vehicular traffic on the often-congested 60 and 215 freeways. The line is slated for completion in December 2015, employing around 4,000 people during the construction phase, officials said.

"Riverside County is an excellent location for employers and businesses," said Ashley. "The addition of train service by the end of next year will make it an even more attractive job center."

Funding sources for the project include allocations from the county's Measure A transportation sales tax program, as well as state and federal grants.

– City News Service.

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