The Las Vegas Railway Express, operators of the X Train coming next summer to connect Sin City with southern California may use a North Las Vegas station to initially terminate their service in Nevada, but there’s no question that their plan for reaching our area is focused ONLY on the Fullerton Metrolink/Amtrak station. The new $174 million ARTIC Train Station under construction in Anaheim will not be receiving this new $100 million privately-funded venture, just as it can’t be expected to see Jerry Brown’s High-Speed Bullet Train — a $100+ BILLION Boondoggle that won’t be funded or completed in our lifetimes as California’s fiscal condition continues to deteriorate and Federal funding for it has evaporated.
A reasonable question for ARTIC supporters like Mayor-for-Hire Curt Pringle, the Anaheim City Council (including Mayor Tom Tait), the OCTA Board which has been approving Measure M funds and the comatose Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee that we wrote of yesterday is WHY build such an expensive edifice to Pringle and his sycophants that can’t attract any new trains or even private investment as Pringle had promised?
ARTIC is also supported by “many private organizations and local government leaders…including the Orange County Business Council, the Anaheim/OC Visitor and Convention Bureau, Congressman Ed Royce, and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. ARTIC is expected to open in 2014.”
The X Train’s decision for Fullerton is obvious per the map below — it connects to every Metrolink Route in their system, so a X Train rider can connect to a Metrolink train from all of its 57 stations. Due to its awkward location, ARTIC is not served by all of Metrolink’s routes (this also speaks to the folly of fixed-guideway, steel-rail transportation systems like trains and streetcars that buses don’t suffer from, but that’s another post).
To accommodate X Train, the Fullerton Station needs to add nothing — it’s a fully functioning operation which probably would also derive some income for an Agent to handle ticketing. It might also be expected that Fullerton might see some residual business for hotels rooms, food service and parking from X Train users.
Anaheim loses — but it’s Orange County’s Measure M sales taxpayers that get fleeced for an absolutely unnecessary new train station (and the $319 million redundant streetcar system that’s been approved by their Council to serve it) — that totals nearly one-half BILLION dollars.