MOUNTAIN HOUSE — The burden of a daily commute to the Bay Area has one Mountain House resident petitioning for the addition of an Altamont Corridor Express train station near Patterson Pass Road.

“It makes logical sense to have a station there,” Hansen Village resident Robi Thomas said in a telephone interview Monday. “We want to make sure the message is out there — win-win for everybody. Win-win for ACE, they get a whole lot of new riders. We’re convinced there are enough riders here that they wouldn’t lose (money).”

Thomas started a petition on Change.org two weeks ago, and as of Wednesday, he had 771 supporters on his way to 1,000 names. Most of those signed within the first two days. He said the petition was to show ACE officials that the idea had support.

“The number of people who signed in a short time shows there is interest,” he said. “There is a large community that would like to have a station there.”

The two ACE stations nearest to Mountain House are the one in Tracy on South Tracy Boulevard at Linne Road and one off Livermore’s Vasco Road. Thomas, who commutes to Sunnyvale, said the drive to either of those stations can be long due to traffic congestion, especially in poor weather.

He is seeking a no-frills station with just a platform — similar to the Vasco Road station, where he commutes daily to catch the train into the Bay Area.

“I got the impression officials are convinced there are not enough riders from Mountain House,” he said. “The next step is to show actual riders. The numbers are there.”

Thomas has set up a Google group to get the proof of ridership that he needs to present his case to ACE officials. He is asking all local ACE riders to join the group and identify themselves.

In an effort to rally community support, Thomas also reached out to members of the Mountain House Community Services District Board of Directors, particularly Brian Lucid of the public safety committee.

Lucid said on Tuesday that he supported Thomas’ efforts to improve transportation for Mountain House residents.

“It’s important for Mountain House,” Lucid said. “I know he has done an awful lot of work, and I think we need to encourage him.”

Lucid said he would try to get the matter placed on the MHCSD board agenda within six months to begin discussions with the other directors. He said they could then create an ad hoc committee to expand the research Thomas has done.

“He has piqued my interest,” Lucid said. “It needs to be presented to the board. If they don’t have ridership, it’s a tough sell. It’s an uphill battle, but he rides the ACE train, he did the petition, and he’s done some homework and research.”

Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.

(3) comments

Tracy Rail

A minor issue here: the petition claims that the station would be built "near Patterson Pass Road, where Mountain House Parkway meets the train tracks."

The problem? Those tracks don't go anywhere -- that's the old Southern Pacific mainline that runs from downtown Tracy to the Altamont, and the tracks have been torn up at the Alameda County line, just beyond the proposed location. ACE trains don't run on those tracks.

My idea for reducing traffic on I-580? Start building more businesses in Tracy to get people that live in Tracy working in Tracy. (Yeah, I know. Too simplistic.)

c3tj

Even though you're driving away from your destination by driving to the Tracy station, it's going to be much faster to catch the same train by driving there instead of the Vasco Road station. Seriously.

And where are all these riders going to park on Patterson Pass Road? There is no space or infrastructure there.

Tinwaings

Want to get tons of cars off 580? I would recommend more regular scheduled bus service from the transit station in Tracy thru Mountain House, along predetermined routes on a hourly schedule all day long. to the bay Area. I would also suggest that planners look at the way bus service is scheduled into NYC from remote places. In our area there is no reliable mass or regularly route scheduled mass transit , All we have is a few Jitney buses that run inefficient routes in Tracy to the mall and they are always empty because of that.
Most cities have ample scheduled mass transportation from outlying areas into the city at a reasonable cost.
Traffic on 580 won't be reduced by toll lanes as this only restricts traffic further and raises costs for those who must commute.
Although the ACE train helps, it's slow and only runs at rush hour. More trains at a better price and a stop at MH will help clear up some of the traffic problems.
The fact is that there are just too many people living here and commuting there. It's getting like the 405 in LA.

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