On Thursday, June 15, 2023, the City of Modesto, Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG), Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA), and San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) celebrated the grand re-opening of the Modesto Transit Center. For a little over a year, the former Southern Pacific Railroad Depot went through extensive renovation and rehabilitation to provide modern amenities for today’s riding public as well as to support the future transit services from Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) expected to begin in 2026.
The Southern Pacific Depot is a local landmark originally built in 1915 which now serves as the Modesto Transit Center providing motor coach services from StanRTA and Greyhound. In 2017, it was determined that the transit center facility needed rehabilitation and improvements to support the Altamont Corridor Express coming to Modesto. The renovation focused on improving safety, security, and operational functionality. These improvements included lighting, cameras, fencing, and site compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, the project included the repair and restoration of some elements of the historic Southern Pacific Depot.
“Today is a celebration of Modesto’s rich historical past, vibrant and active present, and a look towards our bright future,” said Modesto Mayor Sue Zwahlen. “Today’s ribbon cutting is yet another example of all the great things that are happening here and why the City of Modesto is a great place to live, work, and play.”
The Modesto Transit Center has been a transportation and historical landmark for the residents of Stanislaus County. StanRTA currently provides motor coach services for the region and the transit center is a hub of the operations.
“The newly renovated space will provide modern amenities and a comfortable environment that will improve the system and motivate people to make greater use of our public transportation options,” said StanRTA CEO Adam Barth. “Through this improved facility, StanRTA will continue providing safe and dependable transportation services that will allow for residents to make vital trips throughout Stanislaus County and beyond.”
The project was developed in coordination with the City of Modesto, the Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG), and operators of the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC).
“Stanislaus Council of Governments has had the opportunity to support its agency partners by playing a major role in allocating funding for the Transit Center. The future of ACE rail extension benefits the 21st-century intermodal transportation in our region thus paving the path to innovation for transportation to all in Stanislaus County,” said StanCOG Policy Board Chair and Ceres Mayor Javier Lopez.
“We want to congratulate the City of Modesto on its beautiful restoration of the Downtown Transit Center which will be the location of our future ACE station. Bringing rail service to a community takes great partners like the City of Modesto and StanCOG. The revitalized Transit Center will serve bus and rail riders for generations to come,” said Vice Chair of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, Nancy Young.
Construction on the Modesto Transit Center began in late 2021 with a total project cost of nearly $6 million. The ACE train is expected to begin offing service to the Modesto Transit Center in 2026.
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