Transportation secretary compliments mass-transit work
Mary Peters applauds public-private partnership for proposed Anaheim center.
By ELLYN PAK
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
ANAHEIM – During a one-day visit to Orange County, the country's top transportation official lauded Anaheim's efforts to bring in private dollars for a proposed elaborate mass-transit center.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters, along with local officials, announced Wednesday that 14 private companies have expressed interest to help build the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.
Dubbed ARTIC, the center would be built on 16 acres in the Platinum Triangle where transportation modes from trains to buses could flow into one site. About 10 acres of property would be set aside for commercial, residential and retail development.
"I haven't seen anyone else quite put together the concept of ARTIC and bring the transit options together to give some real relief to citizens," Peters said during an interview.
Peters, who has led the federal agency since 2006, spoke at the proposed ARTIC site, on Katella Avenue near the Honda Center, and toured the 91 Express Lanes command center before speaking at an Orange County Business Council function.
Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle said 14 private firms, including Citigroup Global Markets, have formally expressed interest in the project, which is led by the Orange County Transportation Authority and the city of Anaheim.
ARTIC was first proposed in the early 1990s and has failed to attract sufficient state and federal funding. Peters said that her agency will work to expedite any federal review of the project and to urge Congress to approve $175 million that would help projects like ARTIC. However, Peters said, local agencies should not wait or depend on federal funding for transportation relief.
"You can build projects sooner and get them serviceable to the public years and years and years ahead of … waiting for public money," Peters said of public-private partnerships. "It's also very helpful, because it's giving commuters relief now, but it's also paying for it in today's dollars versus future dollars."
The first phase of the project would include constructing a train depot and moving Angel Stadium's Metrolink and Amtrak station to the new site in 2010. It would also include expanding bus lines and Metrolink train service.
The next phases of ARTIC could include completing the station with a high-speed rail service; additional tracks; shuttle links to the Anaheim Resort area and John Wayne Airport; connections to bicycle trails; and thousands of parking spaces.
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