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ACE trains may stop in Ripon
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The City of Ripon will be part of the environmental review and planning process for the Altamont Corridor Express Forward Project.

On Tuesday, elected leaders gave staff the go ahead to add Ripon on the list of potential train stops.

“It would be no fiscal impact for us to be part of that study,” Director of Planning Ken Zuidervaart said at the Ripon City Council meeting.

At the previous meeting, ACE representatives gave a presentation on the Forward Project. Included was the environmental process for expanding services as far southward to Merced.

Another of the project’s goals is to extend services to Modesto by 2018.

Thanks to the Council’s unanimous approval, ACE staff will look at Ripon as part of the feasibility study on potential future stops.

At this point, ACE is finishing up the scoping process while preparing to embark on the environmental analysis of the expansion project.

If the study paves the way for a stop here, it would be up to the City to decide the location of the platform coupled with the fiscal impact of building that station somewhere in Ripon, Zuidervaart said.

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission launched the ACE Forward Program as an effort to modernize the existing rail services. Manteca, Modesto, Turlock and Merced have already been listed among the stops.

ACE is also looking at downtown Tracy.

Currently, ACE makes daily runs, from Stockton to San Jose.

“We have 60,000 (in the Central Valley) who commute to work,” said Mike Amman of San Joaquin Partnership. “ACE had 1 million in (ridership) for the first time this past year – I think (Ripon) really needs to look into the study.”