California City Wants to be Amtrak Stop

A California city is seeking to become a stop for Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and may use a California gas tax to do it.

King City in southern Monterey County wants the Los Angeles-Seattle train to stop at its recently renovated train station.

“Like all early California cities, when the train station came to King City, it built our city, that was the impetus for us to grow,” said Mayor Mike LeBarre said. “What we see this as, is reestablishing that historic stop.”

LeBarre said having Amtrak service would enable residents of the city of 14,200 to participate in meeting California greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and bring more tourists to the town, which is one of the gateways to Pinnacles National Park.

Amtrak has studied adding King City and Soledad to its network.

“They had some estimates of timetables, which basically showed that we could get from King City to San Francisco . . . in about a three hour and 15 minute trip, which to me is very auto-competitive,” LeBarre said. “Especially if you factor in the [Bay Area] traffic.”

King City officials expect to learn in April if the city will receive gas tax funding to be used toward establishment of a multi-modal station.

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