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Construction under way on Perris Valley Metrolink extension

Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) executives joined government officials and business leaders in a ceremony late last week to mark the start of construction on the 24-mile Perris Valley Metrolink extension, which will expand commuter-rail service from downtown Riverside along the existing San Jacinto Branch Line to Perris, Calif.

The $248.3 million project will extend the current Metrolink 91 line to new stations in North Riverside, Moreno Valley/March Field, downtown Perris and South Perris/Menifee. When completed, the line will be the first expansion of Metrolink's system in terms of added mileage since 1994, RCTC officials said in a press release.

Rail service is expected to begin by December 2015. Funding sources for the project include Riverside County's voter-approved Measure A program, a $75 million Federal Transit Administration grant and California state dollars.

The groundbreaking event was held near the new office of the UCPath Center near March Air Base. UCPath recently relocated to Riverside and will employ up to 480 people involved in administrative services for the University of California. RCTC officials hope more employers will follow the trend when new train service is available, they said.

"Riverside County is an excellent location for employers and businesses," said RCTC Chair Marion Ashley. "The addition of train service by the end of next year will make it an even more attractive job center."

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More News from 2/25/2014