Linda Arriaga is none of the many Imperial Valley College students that take the bus every morning from Calexico. She is one of the thirty students that each morning waiting for the bus at a little bus station located on the corner of Third Street and Paulin that, aside from being dirty most of the time, is taken by homeless people who sit there most of the time.
“It’s a hassle to be here because many of us that take the bus to IVC have to wait here and is very uncomfortable to wait in a parking lot with homeless around here,” Arriaga said.
The bus hub in Calexico is too small to meet the demands of the transportation needs of the city. But that could change in a few years as the Imperial County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the federal government asking for money for a new translation hub for Calexico.
The regular County Boards of Supervisors meeting took place at Vincent Memorial Catholic High School in Calexico where several issues were discussed, including the long-awaited transportation center that has been in the works for almost a decade.
The Imperial County Transportation Commission will be submitting an application for $10.25 million to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant Opportunity for the Calexico Intermodal Transportation Center project.
The project will create a new transportation facility in downtown Calexico to consolidate public and private transportation in one facility to improve mobility and safety of the passengers, increase transit ridership, accommodate zero-emissions transit vehicles, reduce vehicle emissions, and enhance the downtown business district.
The Calexico ITC will serve as a regional mobility hub and transfer terminal to improve the connectivity to jobs, housing, public services, schools, and commercial centers. The facility will accommodate fixed-route, demand-responsive, and paratransit public service buses and vehicles, farm labor buses, taxis, and public transportation services such as Greyhound. Federal funding for this project will allow the transportation center to open in 2025.
The project will be located within public walking distance from the Calexico West Land Port of Entry, the third busiest land port of entry in California. 4.8 million northbound pedestrians cross each day to work, shop and attend school. The number of northbound pedestrians is expected to increase with the current expansion of the international border crossing facility. The Calexico ITC project will restructure the sidewalk for the Calexico Port of Entry to improve accessibility to the intermodal facility.
The Calexico City Council also sent a letter to the Department of Transportation asking for funding for this project.
“This project will help with a transportation hub that will help our local transportation but I want to look further and find a solution for Imperial Avenue to avoid the backups we have,” Calexico Mayor Javier Moreno said.
The Calexico ITC will include passenger amenities including a public restroom, sheltered bus waiting area, benches, bike rides, ticket booth, information kiosks, lighting, and a street post clock.