Riverside County supervisors voted today to back a proposal to establish daily Amtrak service in the Coachella Valley.
In a 4-0 vote -- with Supervisor Jeff Stone absent -- the board rallied
behind a Coachella Valley Association of Governments' resolution urging Amtrak
to move ahead with its Sunset Limited expansion plan.
Under the plan, Amtrak would schedule daily passenger stops in the
Coachella Valley on its Los Angeles-to-San Antonio line.
Meadowbrook resident Gary Grant, a self-described citizen watchdog who
rarely misses a board meeting, questioned the motive behind the county's
action, asking whether someone in power locally had "relatives in San
Supervisor John Benoit, who made the motion in favor of CVAG's
resolution, did not comment before voting, nor did any of the other
Amtrak's Sunset Limited trains stop three times a week in North Palm
Springs en route to New Orleans and coming back from the Bayou State, via San Antonio.
"There is strong local support in Riverside County for alternate public
transit due to rapid population growth in the Coachella Valley,'' according
to a statement from Benoit's office.
The CVAG resolution also calls on Amtrak to consider daily intercity
service to Indio on a circuit that encompasses Colton, Fullerton and Los
Angeles, using Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.
The change could also mean an additional stop at the Riverside Vine
Street station and in Banning, according to the Riverside County Transportation