The City Council has voted to look into putting a Metrolink station in the city.
The study was proposed by the public works department as part of a larger plan to improve local transportation.
City staff will look at three potential sites for the station: Montalvo, where two Metrolink trains are stored at night; the Amtrak station near the fairgrounds; and near the intersection of North Bank Drive and Montgomery Avenue.
Each site will be evaluated on available parking, traffic, noise, lighting and rider safety, as well as costs for construction of a platform and associated facilities.
Public Works Director Ron Calkins said he recommended the study because Ventura already pays a share for the service.
The Ventura County Transportation Commission revised the funding formula for Metrolink in 1998, and cities now pay for the service based on population, not ridership. For the 1998-99 fiscal year, the service cost Ventura $55,552.
Calkins suggested using the Amtrak station because there is a platform and parking facilities and no additional construction funds would be needed.
But operating costs might increase because the station would be farther from the Montalvo layover area.
Councilman Ray Di Guilio voted for the plan but warned the other six council members against putting the station on the east end of the city, because it could encourage too much growth there.
The east end is the population center of town.
Councilman Jim Monahan supported the Amtrak station near the fairgrounds, saying the location would serve downtown and the Ojai Valley.