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.”