Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Upon reading the news article regarding the transit station, two questions naturally surfaced.
One, if the city’s contribution to construction of the transit station is only $6.9 million, why did it take more than 15 years (not 10 years) to break ground? Perhaps there is something wrong with a fiscal management process that does not readily accommodate capital improvement projects in a reasonable timeframe. Where is the money going?
Second question. Does it really make sense to spend $6.9 million far in advance of any real need for a transit center at this location? This question is based on several facts; such as, all of the city’s transit buses have been making their rounds all day long virtually empty for several years; where is the need? When passenger rail service actually comes someday, the location will require the trains to block traffic on South Main Street, thus compounding the already congested traffic patterns downtown. Greyhound cut back service to smaller communities like Manteca along the Valley for business economic reasons, not for lack of facilities. Moreover, high-speed rail service stopping in downtown Manteca is a laughable idea, especially when it may stop in Modesto.
It makes more sense to spend the money on something that Manteca’s residents have been awaiting over 30 years, such as, a new library, proper street maintenance, addressing the congestion downtown, a cultural arts center, and so on. The $6.9 million would actually serve the community residents better as an additional resource for a new modern library with meeting rooms complete with catering kitchen plus two outdoor plazas for public gatherings.
I trust the Mayor and council will do the right thing. However, it will likely not actually respond to the needs of the community and will be outdated at groundbreaking.
Jan. 15, 2012
Editor’s note: The $6.9 million consists of federal, state and Measure k funds that only can be spent on mass transit projects and nothing else. However, the city does not have to accept them. The high-speed rail proposed for extension into Modesto that will stop in Manteca at some location would be the ACE high-speed rail. The California high-speed rail will not stop in Manteca but would stop in Modesto and Stockton.