Bay Area Rapid Transit expansion

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Throughout the history of Bay Area Rapid Transit, better known as BART, there have been plans to extend service to other areas.

Completed projects include the extensions to Colma and Pittsburg/Bay Point (1996), Dublin/Pleasanton (1997), SFO/Milbrae (2003),[1] the automated guideway transit spur line that connects BART to Oakland International Airport (2014),[2] and the Warm Springs extension (2017).

Construction projects underway[edit]

Silicon Valley extension[edit]

map of the planned BART extension to San Jose

The Silicon Valley extension is under construction from Warm Springs to the Berryessa neighborhood station in San Jose, linking BART to light rail in Santa Clara County. The Federal Transit Administration awarded $900 million for the project in 2012.[3] The extension broke ground in 2012, and had been scheduled for completion in 2016.[4] Revenue service is expected in late 2017 or 2018.[5]

Berryessa extension (Phase 1)[edit]

An infill station at Calaveras Blvd/SR 237 in downtown Milpitas is optional; this station is not currently funded. The Milpitas station will be near Montague Expressway, co-located with the existing VTA Montague light rail station. Service on this line will terminate at the Berryessa Station.

eBART[edit]

Main article: eBART

The eBART expansion plan calls for standard gauge diesel multiple unit (DMU) light rail train service to be implemented from the existing Pittsburg/Bay Point station to a Hillcrest Avenue station in Antioch, with an intermediate station at Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg.[6] Future expansions to the east could connect the eBART service to Oakley, Brentwood, Byron, and beyond to Tracy and Stockton. Revenue service between Pittsburg/Bay Point and Antioch is currently projected to begin in 2018.[7]

Proposals[edit]

San Jose subway extension (Phase 2) [edit]

The original plan was for the extension to continue into downtown San Jose via subway. However, in February 2009, projections of lower-than-expected sales-tax receipts from the funding measures forced the VTA to scale back the extension, ending it at the Berryessa station and delaying tunneling under downtown San Jose to a future phase of construction (making it essentially a "Phase 2" of the project). The originally-planned complete extension from Fremont to Santa Clara was projected to cost $6.1 billion, but the VTA estimates the extension to Berryessa (Phase 1 only) would cost just $2.1 billion.[8]

The plans for the downtown subway start with a portal before crossing under US 101. The proposed Alum Rock subway station would be on North 28th Street between Julian Street and Santa Clara Street. The proposed Downtown San Jose station would be underneath Santa Clara Street spanning the block from 3rd Street to Market Street. (The Downtown San Jose station was combined in 2005 from earlier plans for separate subway stations at Civic Plaza/San Jose State University and Market Street.)[9] The proposed Diridon/Arena station would be between SAP Center at San Jose and Diridon Station, which currently serves Amtrak, Caltrain, ACE and VTA Light Rail.

The BART subway would then turn north, following the Caltrain route, and exit to the surface at another portal after crossing under I-880. The proposed Santa Clara BART station would be co-located at the existing Santa Clara Caltrain station. Separate construction plans by San Jose International Airport would bring a people-mover train to the Santa Clara BART/Caltrain/ACE/Amtrak station.

For the subway segment in San Jose, VTA plans to use a tunnel boring machine for most of the length in order to reduce disruptions to downtown during construction.[10] Only the station locations would have cut and cover construction.[11] This is different from how BART subways and stations were built in San Francisco and Oakland, which used the cut and cover method. The construction of the cut and cover stations in downtown San Jose would still cause major albeit temporary disruption, including closing several blocks of Santa Clara Street and severing the VTA light rail line at that street. The extension to downtown San Jose could open 2025 or later, contingent on approval of funding.[12]

Funding and Electoral History (2000–2008)[edit]

Since Santa Clara County is not among the member counties of the BART District (having opted out of the district at its inception, like neighboring San Mateo county), VTA is responsible for building the extension within Santa Clara County. VTA allocated initial funds for constructing BART using the proceeds from a sales tax referendum which was passed by Santa Clara County voters in 2000. In December 2002, VTA purchased a freight railroad corridor from Union Pacific Railroad which will serve as much of the necessary right-of-way for both the Warm Springs and San Jose extensions for $80 million.[13]

In 2004, the Federal Transit Administration decided to wait to fund the project, citing worries that BART did not have enough money to operate the extension.[14] In addition, the San Jose extension project received a "not recommended" rating from the Federal Transit Administration placing the federal portion of the funding in jeopardy because of concerns about operation and maintenance funding.[15]

Santa Clara County voters passed Measure B in 2008, a ⅛-cent sales tax raise.[16] Projections by an independent consultant recommended by the Federal Transit Administration predicted that the ⅛-cent sales tax would more than cover operation and maintenance of the proposed extension.[17][18][19][20]

San Jose voters passed Measure B in 2016, which allowed for final funding of the subway.[21][10]

Livermore extension: I-580/Tri-Valley Corridor[edit]

A proposed extension will further service from Dublin/Pleasanton station east to Livermore, either via traditional BART infrastructure, diesel multiple unit technology[22] similar to eBART, or enhanced bus service.[23] It could possibly continue over the Altamont Pass into Tracy and the Central Valley along I-580 and/or go north through Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo to the existing Walnut Creek station via the I-680 corridor.

An existing diesel commuter rail line, the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE), currently operates through Livermore. The two systems are linked, though not directly, by a free shuttle bus which transfers passengers between the ACE Pleasanton station and the BART Dublin/Pleasanton station.[24][25][26]

A preferred alignment was selected July 1, 2010 and originally had the support of the Livermore City Council. This plan would have involved the construction of a station in downtown Livermore, and a second station on Vasco Road near Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. Both proposed stations would have provided nearby connections to Altamont Corridor Express service.[27] However, in July 2011, the Livermore City Council reversed its position in response to a petition requesting that the alignment stay within or nearby the Interstate 580 right-of-way, and now favors stations be built at the Interstate 580 interchanges with Isabel Avenue and Greenville Road.[28] BART's Environmental Impact Report Notice of Preparation, issued in September 2012, proposed a single station at I-580 and Isabel Avenue, with possible express bus services connecting to the Vasco Road ACE station and a park-and-ride lot at I-580 and Greenville Road.[29] Land use plans and studies were being prepared by the city of Livermore in September 2015, and completion is envisioned in 2026.[23][30][31] Additional funding for consulting and planning were allocated in late 2016, against the wishes of then BART District President Tom Radulovich.[32]

Menlo Park extension (1999)[edit]

In 1999, a short-lived proposal to extend BART from the Millbrae station (then under construction) to Menlo Park was advanced by the San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA). The proposed routing would have followed the Caltrain tracks to the Broadway station in Burlingame, and then would run along the median of Bayshore Freeway to Menlo Park, with stations in San Mateo, Belmont/San Carlos, Redwood City, and Menlo Park. Cost estimates ranged up to US$2,500,000,000 (equivalent to $3,590,000,000 in 2016), drawing funding from a 1/2-cent sales tax increase in San Mateo County.[33] BART leadership warned the timing was not appropriate for a push further south into San Mateo County, and SAMCEDA withdrew the proposal by the summer of 1999.[34]

wBART[edit]

The only branch of the original BART system that has not been extended since service commenced is the line ending at Richmond station. Possible alignments for an extension further north were examined in 1983,[35] 1992,[36] and an ongoing study.[37] Both newly-constructed BART wide-gauge electrified rail and the use of existing freight rail right-of-ways and tracks with more readily available standard gauge trains were considered. Potential station locations include Hilltop Mall, Pinole, and Hercules Transit Center. The cost of an extension to Hercules Transit Center utilizing mainline BART technology was estimated at $3.6 billion in 2017 with a ridership of 21,980 by 2040.[38]

Infill stations[edit]

Infill stations are stations constructed on existing line segments between two existing stations. The West Dublin/Pleasanton and Embarcadero stations are the only infill stations currently in the BART system. The Doolittle Car Barn, initially slated to be opened as a full station along the Oakland Airport Connector, may be repurposed for passenger service at a later date.

BART planners have studied additional stations for at least four other sites within the system: Albany, Calaveras, Irvington, and 30th Street Mission.[39] Construction costs for a planned 30th Street Mission station in San Francisco, between the existing 24th Street Mission and Glen Park stations, were estimated at approximately $500 million in 2003.[40] A proposal for a Jack London Square station in Oakland was rejected as being incompatible with existing track geometry; a one-station stub line at the foot of Broadway and the use of other transit modes also were studied.[41]

BART Metro Vision[edit]

Key components of the overall vision for BART's future, dubbed BART Metro Vision, include more capacity in stations, increased train frequency to allow for "show up and go" service at stations within the system's operational core, and increased performance reliability. The most recent report from BART Metro Vision also identifies improvements to its rolling stock, the Hayward Maintenance Complex, and the modernization of its train control system as key improvements for securing the system's long-term viability.[39]

Transit advocacy groups in the Bay Area have long promoted larger-scale expansion of the BART system through various capital projects. One identified as a long term goal in the Metro Vision is the construction of a second, four-bore rail tunnel under San Francisco Bay, increasing connectivity and capacity of the system. The second tube would likely route to the Transbay Transit Center for connections with California High-Speed Rail, and Caltrain.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Celebrating 40 Years of Service 1972 • 2012 Forty BART Achievements Over the Years" (pdf). Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). 2012. Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  2. ^ "New BART service to Oakland International Airport now open". Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). November 21, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  3. ^ Mohammed, Aliyah (April 29, 2016). "Milpitas council receives BART extension update". Digital First Media. The Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  4. ^ Richards, Gary. "Next target: Extending BART under downtown San Jose". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Construction begins this spring, with 2016 completion date... Source: VTA 
  5. ^ "Construction of the Berryessa and Milpitas BART stations". 
  6. ^ "East Contra Costa BART Extension (eBART)". Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). April 3, 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  7. ^ "East Contra Costa BART Extension (eBART) Chronology". Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). June 11, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  8. ^ "BART to Berryessa: Sales tax projections force VTA to scale back plans". San Jose Mercury News. February 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  9. ^ "Minutes of Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor BART Extension Policy Advisory Board Meeting". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). June 22, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  10. ^ a b Meacham, Jody (January 23, 2017). "Are you ready for a subway? Digging for BART begins in two years". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  11. ^ "Downtown San Jose Subway Fact Sheet" (PDF). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). May 14, 2002. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  12. ^ "South Bay BART initiatives move forward". KGO-TV ABC San Francisco. May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  13. ^ "Union Pacific closes land and track sale to VTA". Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. December 2002. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  14. ^ Tom, Bulger (February 24, 2005). "February 2005 Monthly Report for MTC" (DOC). Government Relations Inc. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  15. ^ "History of BART to the South Bay". San Jose Mercury News. January 8, 2005. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  16. ^ "LIST OF LOCAL MEASURES PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION" (PDF). COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA 2/3 Vote. November 4, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2008. 
  17. ^ "BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING - AGENDA" (PDF). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). August 7, 2008. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  18. ^ "Measure B reaches two-thirds approval in late vote counting". San Jose Mercury News. November 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  19. ^ "BART backers pop open champagne, celebrate vision for San Jose's Grand Central Station". San Jose Mercury News. November 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  20. ^ "November 4 Presidential Primary Election SUMMARY RESULTS - MEASURE B". Santa Clara County Government. November 21, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-11-16. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  21. ^ Lin II, Rong-Gong (November 9, 2016). "Bay Area voters supporting BART renovation and extension to downtown San Jose". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  22. ^ "Livermore Extension". BART. January 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  23. ^ a b "BART Pauses Planning for Dublin Parking Garage". The Independent. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  24. ^ "Pleasanton Station | ACE Rail Stations". Altamont Commuter Express. Archived from the original on 2010-07-03. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  25. ^ "Wheels - Timetables - Route 54 - Pleasanaton Fairgrounds ACE Shuttle". Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  26. ^ "Wheels - Fares and Sales". Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority. Archived from the original on 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  27. ^ "BART Board selects alignment for Livermore extension". Transbayblog.com. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  28. ^ Courtney, Jennifer (July 12, 2011). "City Council OKs Initiative to Keep BART on I-580". Livermore Patch. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  29. ^ "BART to Livermore Extension Project". Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). June 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  30. ^ Gary Richards (December 18, 2015). "Roadshow: BART down I-680 not a consideration". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  31. ^ "Isabel BART Station Plans in the Works". The Independent. September 17, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  32. ^ Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy (October 3, 2016). "Politicians look for way to link BART to Central Valley". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-10-04. 
  33. ^ "SAMCEDA 1999 proposal for BART via 101 to Menlo Park". Bay Rail Alliance. 27 June 2004. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  34. ^ Softky, Marion (July 21, 1999). "Plan dumped to extend BART down Bayshore Freeway to Menlo Park". The Almanac News. Menlo Park. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  35. ^ Drake, Gerard. "West Contra Costa Extension Study Final Report" (PDF). Wilbur Smith and Associates. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  36. ^ "West Contra Costa Extension Alignment Study" (PDF). Korve Engineering, Inc. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  37. ^ "West County High-Capacity Transit Study". WCCTAC. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  38. ^ Radin, Rick (28 March 2017). "West Contra Costa studying I-80 corridor gridlock solutions". East Bay Times. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  39. ^ a b "BART Metro Vision Update" (PDF). Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). April 25, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-19. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  40. ^ John T. Warren and Associates, Inc. (May 2003). "San Francisco County Planning: 30th Street Infill Station Study" (PDF). Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). p. 64. Retrieved 2014-07-16 – via http://www.bart.gov/about/planning/sanfrancisco. 
  41. ^ "The Jack London BART Feasibility Study" (PDF). Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). December 2004. pp. 17–31. Retrieved 2014-07-16 – via http://www.bart.gov/about/planning/alameda. 

External links[edit]