Joint project of RTA and City of Hemet
■ By Tom Jones / Contributed
Some two years after initiating the concept of a Hemet Mobility Hub, the Riverside Transportation Agency reported progress to the Hemet City Council – its partner in the far-reaching project. The Mobility Hub is designed as an integral component in the Hemet Downtown Specific Plan, itself adopted in April 2017, and is intended as a focal point where all forms of transportation serving the city – bus, rail, car sharing, ride hailing, biking, personal cars and walking – can centrally come together. The long hoped for extension of Metrolink commuter rail service into Hemet, of course, would greatly enhance the value of the Mobility Hub.
The Transit Oriented District surrounding the Hub called for in the Specific Plan is proposed to be located at the north end of downtown Hemet. The site would enable the Mobility Hub to be central to the Hemet Civic Center, the County Administrative Center, the Hemet Valley Hospital Complex and the historic center of downtown. A major part of the site can be earmarked for transit related development through public and private partnerships. Such development is anticipated to include housing, retail, office and public plazas.
As part of the Downtown Specific Plan, the Hub is designed to provide mobility as well as housing choices. Non-traditional transit modes such as shared bikes and shared vehicles, ride hailing companies like Uber and Lyft, Dial-a-Ride, fixed-route bus services and pedestrian traffic.
The RTA and city officials envision the Mobility Hub as a chance to have better access to jobs, health services and educational institutions. The Hub promises more direct and frequent service to other parts of the RTA’s network including Moreno Valley, UCR, University Medical Center, Metrolink’s Perris Valley Line, the rest of San Jacinto Valley, and Riverside.
Funding for the concept development has been provided by state and federal grants, while funding for future stages of the project will require additional sources as the concept plan moves forward. As the plan moves towards more specific and concrete stages, Hemet Mayor Bonnie Wright encouraged RTA officials to conduct more frequent and detailed coordination such as Tuesday’s workshop.