(From Press Release) – On December 6, the California Transportation Commission awarded the City of Davis $250,000 to conduct a comprehensive access and connections study for the Davis Amtrak Station.
The study will seek to identify opportunities to increase ridership, improve multimodal accessibility, and enhance station safety. In addition, the study will examine the potential benefits of implementing such changes including relieving congestion on local roadways, reducing vehicle miles traveled, and stimulating economic activity downtown.
Serving over 10 percent of the total Capitol Corridor ridership, the Davis station is the third most active station. Despite its popularity as a regional hub, the station is fraught with challenges. Parking surveys show the lot fills well before the arrival of the first train and remains full until the late afternoon. Surveys also suggest that bicycle parking is regularly at or near capacity. Additionally, the current depot lacks modern amenities and safety features.
“Using the critical information gained from the study, the City hopes to not only increase train ridership and improve multimodal connectivity, but provide many other community benefits. These tangible benefits range from reducing traffic to boosting the local economy,” said City Councilmember Lucas Frerichs, who serves as Chair for the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority.
The City anticipates leveraging information from the study to inform other planning efforts underway.
“Since the study will occur in parallel with the Core Area Plan Update, there will be numerous touch points where the efforts will intersect,” said Mayor Robb Davis.
Further informing the study, the City will be hosting numerous community workshops as well as collaborating with multiple entities throughout the process including the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) , Davis Downtown Business Association, Davis Chamber of Commerce, Old East Davis Neighborhood Association (OEDNA), Train Riders Association of California (TRAC) University of California, Davis, Unitrans, Yolo County Transportation District (Yolobus), Visit Yolo, and Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG).
While staff will oversee the project, the City will hire a consultant to assist with conducting the study.
The City submitted the grant application in October 2017 to the California Transportation Commission’s Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program. The program’s purpose is to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated, and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability. The program’s budget received approximately $25 million in funding from Senate Bill 1, which increases statewide fuel taxes.