Trains, Trains, Trains

With 101 Highway construction likely to last for over a decade, the obvious solution is waiting at the station. Ventura to Goleta commuter rail is needed NOW! Trains contribute far fewer greenhouse gases than both auto and air travel; U.S. Dept. of Energy data shows train travel per passenger mile is 30 percent more efficient than by automobile.

And Santa Barbarans find road and rail to be of equal value: During the campaign for Measure A — a transportation measure — the mantra was “Train & Lane,” and a commuter rail solution polled equally with 101 widening.

Union Pacific (UP) has been reluctant to permit additional passenger trains on the corridor between Oxnard and Goleta; however, a Draft EIR is ongoing for oil trains UP wants to run from the north to Nipomo. Though not in Santa Barbara County, that’s within the Los Angeles/San Diego/San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Corridor. County representatives to LOSSAN should ask that if UP would like to operate oil trains within our region, then it should also allow commuter trains to operate between Oxnard and Goleta.

Besides, trains are fun to ride! In fact, National Train Day takes place this Saturday May 10, 9 a.m.-noon, at Santa Barbara’s Amtrak station. The Surfliner boards at 9:20 — with Fresco cookie-decorating for kids — and returns from Carpinteria to S.B. at 10:15. At 10:30, a press conference on area transportation commences with elected officials on hand. Hope to see you there!

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