BART Advances Extension to Livermore, Despite Lack of Immediate Funding

» The project continues the suburban-oriented focus of BART regional rail, but at least it points the way towards serving a city center.

Somewhere in the learning curve about how best to take advantage of rapid transit technology, the San Francisco Bay Area took a wrong turn. Despite a long history of walkable, moderately scaled urbanism in many of the area’s cities epitomized by San Francisco, beginning in the 1960s planners and political leaders became obsessed with a different vision for how the place should look and work. The result was both the gradual effort to “Manhattanize” downtown San Francisco and the related push to speed people from far-away single-family homes to those new office towers via the particularly high-quality BART regional rail.

Regional efforts in recent years have pushed similar goals: There has been a renewed effort to solidify San Francisco as the West Coast’s New York City through the upzoning of central city land as the regional transit system is extended outward. BART has an extension south to Warm Springs under construction and a diesel multiple unit link planned into East Contra Costa County; north of the Bay, Sonoma and Marin Counties have set aside funding for a new commuter railroad. These projects are arguably overbuilt, serving far suburbs with transit funds that would be better used in the central city. But for a region in which money comes from taxpayers everywhere, it’s hard to justify BART in one place and just better buses elsewhere. Everyone wants the best.

Though this planning experiment had its beneficial effects — it kept the area’s central city healthy as other urban centers in the United States declined — it also reinforced a building pattern not so different from regions with no rapid transit system available at all, with suburban sprawl extending out in all directions.

Considering the region’s most recent decisions, that emphasis seems unlikely to change. The effort to spread regional transit service was advanced this week with the approval of a preferred corridor for an extension of BART to Livermore from an existing system terminus at Dublin/Pleasanton.

The project will bring urban rapid transit — a technology reserved typically for the densest downtown and apartment communities — to a (relatively small) city of 200,000 people. While most similar systems have stops every half to three quarters mile, this Livermore extension will have two new stations for 11 miles of new service. With average speeds along the route approaching 60 mph, and an estimated future daily ridership of 32,000, the line will in all appearances be a well-frequented intercity rail system. The problem, of course, is its estimated $3.8 billion price tag.

To summarize matters quickly, other options, such as improved bus lines or intercity rail, could provide similar or perhaps even better  mobility improvements at a dramatically lower price. But they do not have the appeal of BART, so though they could be implemented more rapidly, there is little chance that they will be.

The approval of a preferred alignment in no way assures this project’s construction — the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which sets priorities for the use of federal funding for local projects, has set its sights on the southern extension of BART from the future station at Warm Springs to San Jose and Santa Clara. That’s a megaproject whose $5.9 billion cost is likely to consume the regional pocketbook for another fifteen years, leaving little room for rail to Livermore.

Even so, it’s striking that planning on this new route continues as if it should be one of the Bay Area’s top priorities. Despite the fact the both San Francisco and the close-in communities across the Bay have a number of corridors that demand a major improvement in transit service (Geary Boulevard highest among them), and in spite of crowding on the existing BART and Muni Metro systems, there has been no official endorsement of planning for new center city rail corridors, with the exception of the Central Subway project. But this problem results from a metropolitan political structure that enshrined the concept that investments should be spread across the region, no matter their relative benefits.

All that said, the choice of a preferred alignment for the Livermore project suggests a maturity of thinking in the minds of decision-makers in this part of California. The analysis of route options suggested that a number of routes extending east from Dublin/Pleasanton could attract about thirty thousand daily riders and improve trip times roughly similarly. But both the City of Livermore and the BART board endorsed the most expensive option, which would send trains from the existing route along I-580 to downtown Livermore using a tunnel under Portola Avenue and then connecting to an existing railroad corridor.

The decision to route the extension underground for a part of the journey (and even build a new subway station) added hundreds of millions to the project’s cost. But the choice to construct a station in downtown Livermore will allow for far more transit-oriented development than would have another route that remained along the highway, and it will encourage infill instead of greenfield projects. Cities must understand the direct land use effects of their transportation investments if they expect to take serious advantage of them, and the decision here is clearly in the right direction.

If leaders in the Bay Area and elsewhere are to continue investing in massively expensive and under-performing projects that serve the far suburbs, they are likely losing out on potentially more valuable spending. But if the projects are built well, such as is being proposed here for downtown Livermore, at least there can be some positive gain in terms of land use.

Image above: Section of map showing proposed alignments for BART to Livermore, from BART

62 Comments | Leave a Reply »
  • They should just get it over with and build it all the way to Stockton. :)

    • Adirondacker12800

      First Stockton, then the world. . ..

    • Wad

      That’s an idea that’s somewhat smarter than it sounds.

      There are still people upset over the decision to route the California High-Speed Rail route through the Pacheco Pass (entering San Jose from the south) rather than the Altamont Pass, where Livermore is located.

      It’s a gigantically expensive solution, but BART through Altamont could be a mitigation measure in lieu of getting HSR service.

      Any trackage through here, be it BART or HSR, will require expensive engineering and land clearing. The only difference is, the Pass area is built up and the stops (Livermore, Dublin/Pleasanton, Castro Valley) make more sense than a high-speed train that’ll whoosh through these areas without serving them.

      The other issue, besides cost and engineering complexity, is getting San Joaquin County to bite. BART has a “lion’s share” funding model that makes it both expensive to buy in or pay it all back like San Mateo County. The latter has been disastrous for San Mateo County.

      • Adirondacker12800

        It’s lousy idea. Rational people don’t take 90 mile subway rides. Mostly because other rational people don’t build 90 mile subway lines but that’s because they know rational people wouldn’t use it.

        • Wad

          Endpoint fallacy much?

          Don’t assume that Stockton riders are going to go to the ends of the earth like SFO.

          Besides, the Bay Area has some seriously extreme commutes. Golden Gate Transit can pack buses with riders from Santa Rosa to San Francisco, a trip that’s more than 60 miles long.

          • Adirondacker12800

            Ah yes there’s great big thundering herds of people who want to leave Stockton so they can go the bright lights of the big city awaiting them in Livermore where there’s a Walgreens, just like the one in Stockton!

            How many GGT buses would it take to fill half a train? I haven’t taken the bus to Santa Rosa in a while, I seem to remember at peak it runs twice an hour.

          • Wad

            The Bay Area has a slew of edge city employment in the Pass area.

            Livermore has the Lawrence Livermore Lab and several industrial employers. Dublin/Pleasanton provides an express bus connection to the huge Bishop Ranch office colony in San Ramon; that’s the world headquarters of Chevron, for one.

            Then you have the more established industrial centers of the East Bay, and it wouldn’t be unrealistic to assume that some of those Stockton riders have jobs in San Francisco.

            As for Golden Gate, the last I remember there were about 3 or 4 different Santa Rosa services besides the line-haul 80. I’ve taken the commute bus (80 takes about 3 hours one way) at 6 and 7 a.m. The seats would fill up at Santa Rosa Transit Mall, and standees get on at Petaluma. I think the seated capacity of the MCIs is about 54.

            Those buses may become obsolete when SMART opens. Even with a transfer to the ferry, that may still be a faster commute since it’ll get passengers quicker to the Financial District.

          • Wad, if BART served this edge city employment well, you’d see Dublin/Pleasanton produce large volumes of reverse commuters.

          • Wad

            BART would, but it’s the connecting transit systems that drop the ball. There’s a huge imbalance between the 15-20 minute BART service and the 60 minutes or worse connections of the various outlying systems.

            Of course, the reason why bus service sucks in the first place is because of BART.

        • GRL

          Wouldn’t it be cheaper to electrify and increase the trips per day of the Altamont Commuter Express, which covers most of the route?

          • Joseph E

            Yes. Even cheaper, buy light-weight DMUs and run them every 30 minutes all day. You could pick vehicles with 90 or 110 mph top speeds, to make the trip even faster than BART, despite the transfer.

    • Tom

      Stockton?!??

      I say go to Reno and interconnect into the Sacramento system. That would ony cost in the $30 – $50 billion range.

  • raymondfp

    You also need to factor in the massive number of commutes from Stockton, Tracy, and San Joaquin/ Stanislaus counties. The I-580 highway corridor that the proposed BART extension parallels is arguably the most congested in the Bay Area due to drivers from the Central Valley. Moreover, many ACE passengers already transfer to BART (via shuttle) to connect to SF and East Bay cities.

    Although transit investment in the urban core should be a priority, Alameda County is probably the largest member-county in the BART district. The sprawling suburbs are here to stay and rapid transit should also be considered as an alternative to highway congestion.

  • Joel

    As I commented on “Transbay Blog”, I was torn over the approved route. Like you Jonah, I’m glad to see the BART board chose a downtown route for the reasons you cited in your article, but felt an equally great rail extension could have been built for a portion of the cost. Upgrading and expanding the existing ACE commuter rail service will be necessary for improving the BART project’s ridership numbers in the longterm, and for improving transit connections throughout the Bay Area. In fact, projects like the extension in eastern Contra Costa County could feasibly be taken over by ACE instead.

  • poncho

    i really dont understand how it costs this much when so much of the route is in the median of a flat at-grade freeway

  • @ poncho –

    the 580 freeway median is too narrow for two BART tracks side-by-side, so planners assumed the freeway would have to be widened. It never occurred to them to stack single BART tracks on top of one another.

    Likewise, there was a perfectly reasonable option to deviate from the freeway at El Charro Rd, west of Livermore. With tracks at grade to Isabel Rd (CA-84) near the municipal airport, this would have given the city a decent BART connection at a still-nosebleed-expensive-but-at-least-not-ludicrous cost of $1 billion, about a quarter of what the preferred subway alignment is estimated at. Infill TOD could have happened at Isabel Rd just as easily – if not more so – than in the downtown area.

    Worse, the preferred route usurps part of the UPRR right of way between the downtown and Vasco Rd stations, effectively crippling attempts to upgrade the standard gauge Altamont Commuter Express service out of Stockton as well as any chance of ever running HSR trains between San Jose and Sacramento via Altamont Pass.

    We can only hope that UPRR will decline to make that right of way available to BART because freight trains cannot ever run on broad gauge tracks, even in an emergency.

    • It is possible to design a dual guage line accomodating both the standard gauge used by most US railroads, and the so-called “Indian gauge” (5′ 6″) used by BART.

      That said, if UPRR offers up the need for emergency use of BART tracks by freights as justification for not selling–I’ve got five bucks that says they’re just trying to bid up the price. Union Pacific seems to make more money selling ROW to transit agencies at exorbitant prices than they do actually running freight… :)

    • AndyDuncan

      “Infill TOD could have happened at Isabel Rd just as easily – if not more so – than in the downtown area.”

      That’s an absolutely retarded statement and makes you look like you don’t know anything about rail or transit. “TOD” at isabel would be the worst kind of TOD: dense sprawl near one token piece of infrastructure. Take a look at the sprawly TOD “near” the pleasanton BART station. TOD needs to be near other amenities, and a costco you have to drive to doesn’t count.

      A tunnel in livermore is absurd, the line should have gone across the quarry and up the existing ROW, but having the stations downtown and at vasco are the best possible places.

      That said, this line should be a last priority, build the Geary subway or a new Transbay tube before building this line.

    • Joel

      “Worse, the preferred route usurps part of the UPRR right of way between the downtown and Vasco Rd stations, effectively crippling attempts to upgrade the standard gauge Altamont Commuter Express service out of Stockton as well as any chance of ever running HSR trains between San Jose and Sacramento via Altamont Pass.”

      Actually Rafael, I was looking at the ROW’s on Google Earth, not the most exact tool, given, but of what I could see, it looks like there’s still large portions of the UP and SP lines that could handle at least two more tracks.
      Regardless of whether HSR has an Altamont spur, there will definitely be a need to upgrade and expand commuter rail in this area if projects like the BART extension are to be most effective. Plus, who’s to say by the time Altamont commuter rail is being upgraded that portions of the line wouldn’t be elevated, clearing space on the tracks below?

      • AndyDuncan

        Correct, there’s plenty of room northeast of downtown for six tracks, you might have to take a couple small warehouses along the short section between downtown and mines road, but possibly not even there.

  • 電車男

    “Urban Rapid Transit,” or basically frequent service with high average speed, is by no means restricted to incredibly dense parts of a city. A town of 200,000 people is more than large enough to merit such service. I suspect the high price tag has more to do with its unusually high voltage power supply and its broad gauge tracks, although Rafael’s comment about widening the freeway sounds like a more likely explanation.

    • Mike

      It always strikes me a curious that people are soooo wedded to BART technology that they will hold out for a “real” BART project 20 years from now instead of something else within a much shorter time frame. Does anyone know if anything other than “real” BART was given a thorough analysis during the EIR process?

      • Adirondacker12800

        Anything other than BART was probably outside of the scope of the study. They all want “real” BART because they have no exposure to anything but BART.

        • raymondfp

          What are you suggesting? Diesel-powered rail? A new set of rolling stock? A completely new operations crew? A completely different fare structure? Another operating authority? That’s the problem with Bay Area transit to begin with – there are too many different transit operations. We need to promote much more interconnectivity. Starting a whole different operation just because it’s cheaper is not a sustainable or convenient form of mass transit.

          • Adirondacker12800

            Which is why subway goes all the way to White Plains, New Brunswick and Mineola. Or the Metro goes all the way to Baltimore. Or the Broad Street line runs between Allentown and Wilmington or the El all the way to Milwaukee or….

            People in Livermore want to get to San Francisco and sometimes Oakland. Stopping every mile and half on the way there isn’t a good way to do it.

          • Mike

            Well, Yonah mentioned express bus (which seems like it should at least have been given at least a cursory review, and would not need a new operating authority) and commuter rail (which probably makes sense only if it could be a branch of the existing ACE train). I don’t have an opinion one way or the other, other than that it would be nice to think that a range of mobility solutions had been reviewed.

  • Loren Petrich

    I’d lived in Livermore for many years, and I was a bit surprised at the decision. I’d expected them to decide to run in I-580 all the way to Greenville Rd. in east Livermore, where the UP tracks cross I-580.

    The downtown station at 1st and Junction is at the east end of the downtown area, but is otherwise a good choice. There will also be a station at Vasco Rd., near Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. ACE currently stops at both places, making for quick and easy transfer.

  • Mike O

    One thing that two years of single-tracking at Dublin shows is that we don’t need two tracks everywhere. With 15 minute service, the last 7 minutes of rail at the end can be single track.

    A double track station is almost always best, and adding passing tracks is good if they can be done cheaply. Livermore’s subway, and the freeway tunnel (or flyover) are candidates for single track.

  • Having lived in this area, I think the Livermore extension is appropriate. It may not be the highest priority, but it is an natural eventual extension of the system.

    Commuter Rail seems to be the missing component I rarely heard about when I lived there.

    I cannot wait for the Transbay Terminal.

    I consider myself an environmentalist, but I imagine the communities in the San Ramon Valley (Alamo, Danville, San Ramon) in the 680 corridor are kicking themselves that they turned their right of way into a horse trail instead of seeking a BART extension.

    Now I love horses, but when this happened, I know many people who commuted into San Francisco every day who said, “WHAT???”

  • The suburbs want BART stations, and an unholy alliance of local merchants and NIMBYs throw a fit every time a new urban BART line is considered. It’s not a healthy political dynamic.

  • Whiney Elitists

    The plan was to take it to Livermore from the get-go. BART was always supposed to go to Livermore.

    Not to mention, the 580 corridor trades off with the Eastshore Fwy as THE most traveled Bay Area freeway. Quit being such an elitist.

    • AndyDuncan

      I think everyone wants BART to livermore, it’s just the opportunity cost of what else you could build with $4b.

      $4B for 30,000 new trips/day isn’t very good dollars/rider.

      I have family and friends in Livermore, so BART to livermore would be hugely beneficial to me personally and I’d love to see it, but what would get more riders: the bart line or a new transbay tube (current line is at capacity at around 300,000 riders, or 10x what this line will get), or a new line down geary (60-100k riders, the busses on geary already transport more people than this line ever will).

      Since it’s federal and state dollars too, we’ve got about 20 transit projects down here in LA that have better cost/ridership numbers, many of them through areas that make Livermore look elitist.

  • Eric L

    Whenever I’ve visited San Francisco, I’ve always been amazed at how inadequate the transit is. Of course there’s a three hour wait for cable cars, but they’re just for tourists anyway. Every bus or streetcar I’ve seen or been in has been packed too. I’ll bet more high capacity transit in San Francisco would do more to make BART useful to more suburban commuters than a few more suburban BART stations.

    Hey, as long as I’m lecturing the Bay Area on their transportation priorities from a thousand miles away, could you get to work on that Central Subway, and then extend it northward toward the ferry terminal or Ghirardelli square? It will make it a lot easier to get around when I take my daughter to San Francisco some day. And no, I don’t want to stand in line to take the cable car both ways. Thanks!

    • raymondfp

      Central Subway will eventually reach the North Beach area.

      “Every bus or streetcar I’ve seen or been in has been packed too.”

      Sooo…is that why transit in SF is ‘inadequate’? Ever ridden the Metrorail in Washington D.C. during rush hour? Plenty of Muni buses go towards Fisherman’s Wharf – 10, 30, 45, 47, 49, F to name a few.

      • Eric L

        I forget which one of those bus routes I rode, but it was really packed, and we rode this bus because the streetcar running the same route passed by without taking on more passengers. Standing room and pressed up against eachother packed, long waits at each stop for the 20 “excuse me”s it takes for each passenger to get off packed. Maybe it’s not always that packed, I don’t know, it was on a weekend though, not rush hour. I’ve ridden the D.C. metro, though maybe not at rush hour. There’s a lot more room to stand (not to mention more seats) and a lot more doors so you’re never that far from one.

    • J

      No need to wait in line for the cable car. Walk forward one or two blocks and board there. The conductors leave space for the locals that know to do this.

  • Mike O

    It’s not impossible to build dual gauge tracks with standard gauge and 5-6, ther is an example inside the Hayward shops from the old days when it was possible to deliver cars by rail.

    But the close distance makes it difficult to fasten each of the rails, probably limiting the speed of that track to 30 mph, or so.

    Technically, it might be more economical to use four rails and longer ties. That would allow every rail to have standard fasteners (Pandrol clips). Of course, the BART third rail would be one side only, with a slight chance of gapping when crossing switchwork, especially with short trains. Wider spacing would make railgrinding easier.

  • Danny

    3rd rail construction is expensive and requires completely separate rights of way. Broad gauge rail is expensive due to wider ROW needs, and requires specially build rolling stock which is also more expensive. Building that rolling stock out of aluminum makes it more expensive.

    If BART had made some intelligent choices in basic design decisions early in their process, we wouldn’t be talking about extensions costing Billions. We would be talking extensions costing millions.

    Of course it doesn’t help that BART employees have some of the worst productivity (per $) in the nation. There are several sections that could be self funding with more reasonable labor costs.

    So yeah, basically speaking, BART sucks. The Bay could have so much more for so much less, but they don’t even try.

    • GRL

      I’d also argue that there’s a level of slowness in growth that doesn’t help. BART went over twenty years without engaging in any expansion. Granted, the section built as a starter was much larger than the norm, but the lack of any further construction doesn’t compare well to other places with heavy rail, as (just sticking with the United States) MBTA, CTA, and even MTA managed to expand during the late 1970s and 1980s, and WMATA’s rolling growth made it slightly larger than BART in spite of BART’s head start.

      To be kind of blunt, lines to Antioch and Livermore should have been built in the late 1970s when the expenses (even considering inflation) would have been lower, the San Mateo extension should never have been built, the San Jose extension likewise, and at least Geary should have received a line by know (again, ideally in the late 1970s).

      • Danny

        Geary and Van Ness corridors both have enough ridership right now to justify subway construction, and Columbus down to Union Square already has enough ridership to justify light rail.

        But then again, the problem is that the Bay Area does everything at a cost level so far beyond the rest of the nation…so much so that it isn’t cost effective for them. Sad, isn’t it?

  • I hope they put this Livermore extension as a really low priority. BART should really first build down to the south bay. While this may not be the best first priority it already has funding and is already planned. They should then build a line down Geary with a new Transbay crossing. BART needs to expand to better serve San Fransisco’s denser urban core rather than all these far flung suburbs. But I guess that is due to the fact that BART’s board is probably more suburbs members than members from San Fran? Also what is happening currently regarding the expansion to the South Bay?

  • Daniel Krause

    An 11-mile extension should have far more than 2 stations. At least two more stations should be explored with high levels of TOD.

    • The 4 1/2 mile extension to Vasco Road already has a massive job center attached to it: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I’m not saying that it couldn’t use even more TOD, but it’s not like they’re building extensions out into the middle of nowhere.

    • Joel

      A station at Isabel, directly across from a growing local community college, would be the next logical candidate for an infill station. By the time it would even be considered, I would imagine that area would be much more developed than it is today.

    • Daniel Krause

      There is also an existing shopping mall at the NE corner of I-580 and Hacienda Dr. Acres of surface parking could be redeveloped someday into a mall/TOD project with lots of housing. A bridge from the median could go right into the site. It would only be 3/4 of a mile east of the existing Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. I know this may offend the suburban concept of widely spaced BART stations, but closer spaced stations in the long run will dramatically increase ridership and even get some intra-area travel taking place within the Tri-Valley.

      • Dave

        Take it easy, one more station at Isabel/I-580 is good enough, I mean we already have West Dublin doing what you’ve mentioned.

  • Loren Petrich

    The BART extension to Warm Springs is currently under construction, and it should be done in 2014.

    Its home page is at http://www.bart.gov > About BART > Projects > Warm Springs Extension

    From there, it will be extended to Milpitas and Berryessa, stopping short of downtown San Jose. The FTA has issued a Record of Decision supporting it, construction of it should start in 2012, and it should open in 2018.

    No word on the construction of the downtown-SJ and Santa Clara segments.

    Its home page is at http://www.vta.org/bart

  • Federal funding is not assured with the Berryessa project. There are many reasons why VTA goes not deserve federal funding for that project. One of the land owners by that proposed stop wants to build single family housing and the City of San Jose is either unable or unwilling to force them to build TOD.

    VTA has no funding to extend the line beyond Berryessa.

    • Daniel Krause

      This is essentially a done deal. VTA has been negotiating with the FTA for years now on truncating the BART to San Jose extension at Berryessa. The understanding is there to fund this thing. Also San Jose is considering increasing the density at parcels around the Berryessa Station as part of their General Plan Update with a focus on jobs (i.e. offices).

      • raymondfp

        Nothing is a done deal until we see a Full Funding Grant Agreement. The project appears to be back in the Preliminary Engineering stage. Of course, VTA has performed much of that engineering work already before the project had to be temporarily shelved in 2005-2006. This puts them on track towards approval to Final Design.

  • Dave

    According to the Preferred Alternative Memorandum here are the costs for the Livermore Extension.

    Construction: $ 2,480,000,000

    Right Of Way: $ 670,000,000

    Vehicles: $ 330,000,000

    Subtotal: $ 3,400,000,000

    Program Reserve: $ 350,000,000

    TOTOAL: $ 3,830,000,000 (2009 $’s)

  • Joel

    I wonder if BART could take a cue from Barcelona Metro and consider “stacking” the train platforms for the downtown subway station? It could mean less tunnel boring ergo smaller price tag.

  • AlexB

    BART gets a lot of criticisms for not being more like a normal subway with a dense network of lines with closely spaced stops. I don’t think of BART as a “subway” and I think it does its job pretty well, which is to provide the transit backbone for a very spread out region. BART is a way to link the major job centers of the Bay Area under one system. The real problem is a lack of better “express” i.e. commuter rail and local rail i.e. streetcars/light rail.

    BART has something like 50 or so stops. Almost every one of those stops should have a light rail or streetcar line connecting to it. At the periphery and in the center, the system should connect to a commuter system that only links the biggest job centers.

    • Andy K

      “The real problem is a lack of better “express” i.e. commuter rail and local rail i.e. streetcars/light rail.”

      The cause of this problem is arguably BART itself – BART sucks up most of the available funding for the Bay Area. Case in point, Warmsprings got the $ originally allocated for Dunbarton Rail. BART is extremely “popular” with voters/the public – many of whom don’t want anything else, despite the fact that most of them never take transit.

    • BART provides a transit backbone in those areas where transit ridership is bound to be low. In any area, you’d want to start with a good local rail system and then build commuter rail to connect to it. BART doesn’t do it; in San Francisco it doesn’t complement Muni but competes with it, and in Oakland its lines are not laid out well enough to provide dense urban service.

      The only time you’d ever want to build commuter rail first is if it can be done cheaply, on existing track. BART by definition can’t do that; it provides the service levels of commuter rail for the cost of a full subway.

  • Dave

    Couldn’t BART implement a Dual Gauge track or a “Third rail” (Not The Power Surce) inside the Current BART broad gauge to allow standard Gauge railcars with the option of Catenary power source addition? So that before BART orders it’s new cars they can be standard gauge then later removing the Broad Gauge track. This will eneble outside EMU’s to enter the BART tracks and serve the BART system and points outside and beyond without transfers and at a lower cost then the current BART pricetag?

  • Jo

    Livermore city council is seeking on the strength(?) of only the initial EIR to make the VASCO station at Livermore a priority with ABAG. Why?

    BART obviously needs to correct its infrastructure at Geary, etc.

    The promised super ACE has the option of meeting with BART at Dublin.

    BART to Livermore has not completed the necessary steps,why should it be funded first?

  • Henry

    Honestly, do things still need to be built in the BART standard? Everything about the system screams expensive: custom built trains, nonstandard track gauge, serving far flung small cities with $3B extensions. Does everything need to be about freaking BART?

    Which also brings up another point – how will BART get money for the new trains needed to maintain frequency on this extension? Even if you didn’t consider the fact that BART trains are custom built, getting enough trains for an 11 mile extension is an expensive task.

  • Greg

    Anybody that thinks a BART extension to Stockton is a bad idea, hasn’t driven the Altamont during commute hours.

  • Stockton Residents Representative

    I am a resident of Stockton, originally from the Bay Area like many others in Stockton. I am speaking on behalf of the highly employed person from Stockton. Over 38% of the employed person in Stockton works in Pittsburg/Walnut Creek area, Livermore/San Ramon, and the San Francisco/Bay Area. There is a Major company in Pleasanton in which 49 employees out of 130 are from Stockton. Furthermore, if Bart is to be extended to Stockton it would be just as packed as S.F during peak commuters hours, because a lot of home owner will return to their homes do to transit/Bart convenience. However; the extension to Stockton would also allow for others to purchase affordable housing in Stockton which will also bump up Bart commuters traffic and lifting the general commuter traffic in the Bay Area. I believe extending Bart to Stockton needs serious investigating.

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