The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will dole out $75 million in federal grant funds to extend the Metrolink 91 passenger rail line from Riverside to Perris, Calif.
The Metrolink 91 extension to Perris is expected to draw 4,300 riders daily, reducing traffic on I-215 and helping area commuters who have some of the longest commutes in Southern California.
“Bringing more good transportation options to residents in Southern California is vitally important to improving the quality of life in one of the state’s most congested corridors,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Throughout the United States, we are investing in projects like this one that help reduce congestion on our roadways while improving access to jobs, education, medical care and other services.”
The 24-mile Perris Valley Line will serve the communities of Alessandro, Moreno Valley and Perris and improve transit options for commuters east and south of downtown Riverside. It includes the construction of four new stations along the route with parking at Riverside Hunter Park, Moreno Valley/March Field, Perris and South Perris. Metrolink serves more than 44,000 riders on weekdays, more than three-quarters of whom commuted by car before adopting transit, according to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.
The funds are coming through FTA’s Small Starts Capital Investment grant program. FTA’s Small Starts grant comprises approximately 30 percent of the project’s total cost of $248 million. The project also received approximately $63 million in other funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The remaining cost is provided by state and local sources.
The extension is expected to be completed by December 2015.