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Ripon seeks robust ACE train station
ripon station
Plans to build the Ripon Multi-Modal Station will take place on Industrial Avenue, adjacent to the Main Street overcrossing.

City leaders would prefer a more robust plan for the future Ripon Multi-Modal Station.

Senior Civil Engineer Sara Collins mentioned two plans of the initial layout and design in her presentation at Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting.

“It’s easier to scale back,” she said, referring to planning of a large building of the future Altamont Corridor Express train station on Industrial Avenue.

A smaller, facility-only building would only accommodate a one-person staff for ticket sales. The other option – that’s the one Council members preferred – would be similar to that of the Manteca Transit Center on Moffat Boulevard with community or conference rooms, a lobby / waiting area, multiple offices, and restrooms.

The City of Ripon purchased the site adjacent to the Main Street overcrossing in 2017.

The Multi-Modal Station Project is a key piece to the Altamont Corridor expansion from the Bay Area to the San Joaquin Valley.

Collins, in her report, pointed out that this region is the “one of the most heavily traveled, most congested, and fastest growing corridors” in Northern California.

The Bay Area Council is projecting that traffic congestion – based on numbers from 2016 – could increase by an additional 75 percent by 2040.

The extension of ACE services by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission is planned to reach Merced, with Ripon being designated as a future ACE train station.

SJRRC would be responsible for building the station platform while the City of Ripon would take care of the surrounding areas, including the multi-modal station, pedestrian overcrossing, parking and off-site improvements.

Since 2019, SSRRC and O’Dell Engineering have been working together on the design of the station platform, pedestrian overcrossing, the multi-modal station, and rehabilitation of the city-owned parking lot on Industrial Avenue – funding separately thanks to State Senate Bill 132.

Collins said Federal Transit Administration funding of over $5 million is paying for the design of the station, environmental, and part of construction on the project.

O’Dell Engineering and sub consultants recently provided city staff with the initial layout and design of the multi-modal station and parking lot.

Plans call for ACE to expand into the Central Valley by 2024, operating one train per day but ultimately expanding to six trains.

As for ridership, Councilman Leo Zuber, based on assumption from over the years, said that some of the commuters would likely come from Oakdale, Sonora and Jamestown as well as the surrounding communities.