San Bernardino-LA County Transit Corridor Requires Multiple Solutions
Working Together, Legislators and Transportation Experts Told
Rancho Cucamonga, CA – Improving transportation access and connectivity within one of the nation’s most robust growth corridors will require multiple solutions working in tandem, according to research presented Thursday by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).
Appearing at an informational hearing by the Select Committee on Regional Transportation Solutions, Stephen Fox, Senior Regional Planner for SCAG, reviewed the findings of a newly released technical study that addressed the growing mobility challenges between San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.
“Significant transportation improvements are under construction or are being planned in the Inter-County Study corridor,” said Fox. “The overall goal of our report was to determine the optimum mix and service levels of commuter rail, light rail, low- or zero-emission hybrid rail, bus rapid transit and express buses between the two counties.”
The Inter-County Study noted that most trips that originate with the corridor (56%) stay within the corridor, and that of those, 62% begin and end in the same city. It also showed that existing and planned transit and rail infrastructure concentrates on east-west travel, and that north-south transit services need to be increased.
The informational hearing was led by Assemblymember Chris Holden from California’s 41st District and featured some of the region’s top transportation leaders. Connectivity between the two counties has become a more pressing issue as the region’s population swells. Both LA and San Bernardino counties are among the fastest growing in the United States, representing a significant portion of the 4 million additional residents SCAG projects for its six-county region over the next 25-30 years.
Related to that is the growth of Ontario International Airport (ONT), which serves both counties. This year, ONT is on track to handle 5 million passengers this year. Long term, SCAG has projected ONT’s demand at 11-19 million passengers per year.
The SCAG study examined multiple options for access into and out of the airport, identifying pros and cons to each and encouraging the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) and LA Metro to determine which options make the most sense.
Alan D. Wapner, President of both SCAG and the Ontario International Airport Authority, noted that annual passenger volumes at ONT have increased from 2.5 million to 5 million in the two years since the airport’s return to local control.
“Ontario Airport is now known as the fastest-growing airport in the country, and there is a tremendous amount of excitement about that. Our commitment to our community is that we will continue to grow the airport as long as we’re not reliant on people driving their own cars. This requires a multimodal transportation system that can accommodate the growth that’s occurring and will continue to come,” Wapner said.
SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and more than 18 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to plan for a livable and sustainable Southern California now and in the future. For more information about SCAG’s regional efforts, please visit www.scag.ca.gov.