State Transit Funds OKd for Road Work


A judge said Ventura County can use state transit money to make road improvements, dismissing the arguments of a Sacramento nonprofit conservation group.

The Planning and Conservation League sued the county in June, alleging that county officials should have spent nearly $9 million in state money on public transit instead of road improvements.

Retired Ventura County Judge John Hunter, who was assigned to hear the case, rejected that argument Wednesday. He said Ventura County officials have met state-mandated transportation expenditures.


The conservation group had argued that the money should be spent on extending Metrolink train service into Ventura and to double service in Oxnard to equal the four daily stops made in east Ventura County.

But Hunter said ridership surveys show that the west county does not need the Metrolink service advocated by the group. Metrolink is a commuter train that provides service to Los Angeles.

“Ridership is clearly low [in the west county],” said Ginger Gherardi, executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission. She said west county ridership will never equal that of the east because more people live in the east county, which is closer to Los Angeles.

Lawyers for the group are considering an appeal.