When some residents heard about Riverside Transit Agency’s plans to build a mobility hub in Hemet, the immediate response was “thanks, but no thanks.”
In those minds, fears about smoky buses and loitering issues more than offset the benefits of getting around easier.
But Riverside Transit Authority officials are trying to alleviate those fears, noting modern mobility centers aren’t like old bus stations. Instead, they point out that modern hubs not only provide bus stops but areas for ride share vehicles, other transit options and emerging technologies.
“Transit center, bus depot, those names are things of the past because we’re doing things differently,” RTA CEO Larry Rubio said at a community workshop Tuesday, July 25.
A mobility hub is defined as a place where all modes of transportation, technology and transit
supportive land uses come together
Hemet city leaders see the center — which would be built between Devonshire and Oakland avenues and State and Buena Vista streets — as a driver for downtown revitalization.
“This is a classic economic development project,” Hemet Mayor — and RTA board chair — Linda Krupa told about 50 people gathered at the workshop.
Plans for a transportation hub, which would be located near the Hemet Public Library, go back at least 15 years. The center would be a major component of the Downtown Hemet Specific Plan, a project underway to bring more business to the area and make it more resident and pedestrian friendly.
Krupa said it can be a place that would draw homes, office buildings, restaurants and other businesses to what has become a downtrodden part of town.
At a previous downtown planning meeting, business owners expressed concerns about crime, drugs and other problems they fear such a facility could bring. But planners said security is the highest priority and public concerns are taken seriously.
“We are well aware of the problems, but what are the solutions?,” RTA Director of…