Project to expand train station in Grover Beach moving forward

A project to expand the train station at Highway 1 and West Grand Avenue is moving forward, though Grover Beach officials still need additional money to pay for the upgrades.

Since the Amtrak station was completed in 1996, the bus facilities have been on the east side of the train tracks, while the train facilities are on the west side — a design that is inconvenient and sometimes confusing for passengers, city officials said.

The Grover Beach City Council had previously decided to relocate the bus drop-off area next to the train station on county-owned property. Other upgrades include a bus shelter and about 40 more parking spaces.

The improvements will give bus passengers easier access to the restrooms, improve operations between the bus and train services, and allow for a future connection with regional South County Area Transit buses, according to a staff report.

Preliminary cost estimates for the project put it close to $2 million. Of that, $1 million comes from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond.

City officials hope to get additional Proposition 1B funds in the next fiscal year.

If they are successful, construction could start this year, said Community Development Director Bruce Buckingham.

The council also mentioned ways to make the transit center more amenable to riders, including expanding the time the restrooms are open and replacing the ticket machine with a kiosk. Those ideas could come back for discussion at a later time.