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Transit plans new projects with stimulus

Santa Clarita hoping for $6.44 million for renovations to public transportation

Posted: March 1, 2009 1:35 a.m.
Updated: March 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita transit officials are hoping for a piece of the federal stimulus pie — a $6.44 million slice, to be exact.

With five projects on the table, the city is requesting money as part of the $787 billion economic recovery plan that President Barack Obama signed into law last month.

The largest request is for $2 million to add 95 parking spaces at the Jan Heidt Newhall Metrolink Station at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Market Street.

There is room for the spaces on 38,000 square feet of property behind the station, according to information provided by Transit Coordinator Susan Lipman.

Lipman said city staff is also looking into improvements to the bus-boarding and drop-off locations in front of the station.
Also on the city’s list is $1.7 million to add a 250-space park-and-ride lot on property adjacent to the McBean Regional Transit Center at the corner of McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard.

The last large chunk of money the transit department is asking for is $1.74 million for a transportation information network.

Using GPS technology, the network would give commuters real-time updates on bus locations.

Lipman said the economic stimulus funds would allow the city to add components of the project that were removed when the contract was awarded due to budget constraints.

The last $1 million needed is split between two projects.

The city is requesting $500,000 to expand the “smartcard” fare-box system on its Dial-A-Ride fleet, and another $500,000 is needed to add and upgrade security cameras on board Santa Clarita Transit buses.

The city would likely apply for funds through the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Intergovernmental Relations Officer Michael Murphy said last month.

He said stimulus dollars would be diverted through existing channels versus the establishment of new systems.

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