Stops being added in downtown Manteca, River Islands, Ripon, & Sharpe Depot site

209 Business Journal file photo
ACE passenger service is targeted to start in downtown Manteca by 2023.

Bay Area and Sacramento commuters within seven years are likely to have five options where they can catch a train — all within eight miles by car of downtown Manteca.

That will include one train daily from downtown Manteca to San Jose and two trains daily from downtown Manteca to Sacramento.

A decision last week by the Tri Valley-San Joaquin Regional Rail Authority to adopt a preferred alternative to provide rail service connecting ACE to BART means a proposed ACE North Lathrop station will be built as a transfer station on land that is now part of the Sharpe Depot site.

That will serve as the initial valley terminus of the first phase of the Valley Link rail service connecting with the existing Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. A Valley Link station would also be built at River Islands at Lathrop.

The endeavor to extend the Altamont Corridor Express to Ceres by 2023 means a passenger platform will be added to the Manteca downtown transit center. A station would also be built near downtown Ripon.

The existing Lathrop-Manteca station just over the western city limits on Yosemite Avenue will stay in place. The possibility of moving that station a mile to the south to be closer to the 120 Bypass at a location near the future extension of Daniels Street has been put on the back burner. Such a station would cost $25 million.

“We decided to keep both stations (the existing Lathrop-Manteca ACE station and the proposed Sharpe Depot ACE/Valley Link transfer) because of the large ridership in the area,” noted Manteca Councilwoman Debby Moorhead who serves on the regional rail authority.

It is likely the Sharpe Depot location would have a significantly larger parking lot than the Lathrop-Manteca station.

Moorhead noted with $1 billion set aside for the two projects — the ACE extension to Ceres and the Valley Link to BART — it means both will become a reality.

Amtrak service from Stockton to Sacramento started earlier this year.