sanbernardino-thumb1Efforts to build a passenger rail line to the Big Bear Valley took a step forward this week, when the San Bernardino Associated Governments, or SANBAG, voted to financially support a feasibility study, per San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry’s office. The last time a mountain rail line feasibility study was done was in the mid-90s and, now, given a joint venture between SANBAG, the Southern California Association of Governments, and the Inland Valley Development Agency, roughly $286,000 has been designated for the project, slated to begin in January 2010. Supervisor Derry, who is in support of the project, says, “With traffic, the price of gas, and an end to the economic excesses of the recent past, we believe a Los Angeles to Big Bear staycation via train will be an attractive option.” A passenger rail line to and from Big Bear would allow for increased tourism, especially during inclement weather during ski season, and would also allow for a commuting alternative for this who work off the mountain. Per a statement from Big Bear Lake’s Mayor Pro Tem Bill Jahn, who serves on SANBAG as an extension of his City Council duties, “We look forward to working with the other agencies that support updating the study. Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s only four-season resort community and transportation options that make it easier for our visitors to get up the mountain are needed. We must come up with alternatives that are user- and eco-friendly and safe–a rail project is all three.”