Monterey-Salinas Transit Looks to Expand in Smaller Bites
February 6, 2013
Monterey-Salinas Transit is no longer focused on one big new space to replace its current cramped headquarters on Ryan Ranch. Instead, the transit agency is looking to build several smaller, decentralized bus yards, most likely on already paved parcels, according to MST General Manager Carl Sedoryk.
Last year, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors scrapped plans to build a new MST headquarters on the former Fort Ord, after conservation activists petitioned and spoke out against the destruction of oak savannah in the 58-acre Whispering Oaks project. The environmentalists stuck with a theme they're still using when it comes to Fort Ord development: "Build on blight first"—meaning disturbed, paved and abandoned properties, rather than virgin lands.
After losing six figures on the failed Whispering Oaks proposal (and filing a reimbursement claim with the county), MST began looking at other options: a centralized facility in another Fort Ord location, a similar-sized parcel elsewhere, or several smaller facilities spaced throughout the county.
Now, Sedoryk says, officials are leaning toward that third option: multiple, decentralized facilities in the Salinas and Monterey areas. And unlike the failed Whispering Oaks proposal, Sedoryk says, these plans favor building on paved parcels such as unused factory grounds. (Such an expansion would be unlikely to face environmental opposition.)
“You can save significant amounts of money by building in areas with existing infrastructure,” he says.