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Two local groups appealing City of Marina’s planning commission approval of MST “Surf” Project

MARINA, Calif. (KION-TV)- A local environment group and a handcar tour is appealing a City of Marina planning commission's decision to approve a Monterey Salinas Transit "Surf" Project.

This is a 6-mile bus only lane that runs from Marina to Sand City and Seaside and corridor parallel to Highway 1.

This project will allow bus riders to enjoy accessible and affordable transportation and reduce carbon footprints.

Some advocacy groups and local business owners, however, are appealing the project.

“This project will guarantee that at least through the most congested and unreliable part of Highway 1 that you’ll be able to bypass that traffic and bypass all that unreliability so that you can know with confidence that you’ll be able to show up at your destination on time," MST general manager Carl Sedoryk said.  

According to MST, this new bus line will reduce commute trip times up to 16 minutes with zero emission busses. As heavy traffic forms on Highway 1, transit riders will be able to enjoy a faster connection.

"I live in the Monterey Peninsula and frequently go to Salinas in Marina for work and in the mornings I have a virtually clear path going to my destination while on the other side it’s backed up for miles," Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Consultant Kevin Dayton said.  

Multiple people have filed for an appeal, one in which is a local advocacy group, Keep Fort Ord Wild.

“They’ve had to go through the long process of getting all the permits necessary to move forward on it and each step of the process there have been people who have been trying to stop the project," Dayton said.

In a statement from Keep Fort Ord Wild it states, “MST has not provided such alternatives and instead continues to seek approval for the version of the project that would disturb unprecedented areas of ESHA and coastal dune habitat.”

Another appeal is from Handcar Tours based in Marina. This will remove a portion of the Monterey branch line and affect their business. With the train tracks removed, it will be impossible for railcars to pass. 

According to Handcar Tour in a statement it states, “by eliminating Handcar tours the busway will limit coastal access."

As of 2016, voters approved Measure X, which creates funding for the highway one traffic relief busway project. This will create high quality bus transit with fast, comfortable and cost-effective services with dedicated bus-only lanes at iconic stations.

Sedoryk says the construction is expected to take place in September. 

We did reach out to the local advocacy group, Keep Fort Ord Wild, as well as the local business, Handcar tours, about the appeal. We haven’t heard back at this time. 

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Briana Mathaw


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