Valley Link project receives $400 million in reallocated BART funds

The below Sept. 25, 2020 news release is from the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority.

In an action at their September 24 meeting, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) approved a request from the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority to reallocate $400 million in Measure BB funds that had previously been allocated for BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] to Livermore to the Valley Link rail project.

The action included several components:

  • Acknowledge the rail authority as a new agency in Alameda County eligible to receive Measure BB funds from ACTC;
  • Remove the BART to Livermore project and its associated $400 million from the Measure BB Transportation Expenditure Plan; and
  • Add Valley Link to the expenditure plan with $400 million in Measure BB funding

The approval followed a 45-day comment period on the proposed action. Nearly 70 letters of support were received from a wide-ranging group of government agencies, business organizations, educational institutions, labor unions and the general public. The list included the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, and Union City, area Chambers of Commerce, the Hacienda Business Park, the Chabot Las Positas Community College District, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, and the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership group to name a few.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission and is also the Regional Rail Authority’s Chair said, “I am truly grateful to my ACTC colleagues who supported this action. I thank them on behalf of the 93,398 Bay Area workers who commute through the Altamont each day struggling to house their families and access jobs – and for all who receive its environmental and economic benefit. For many, transportation is more than getting from point A to point B – it’s a vehicle to opportunity and a chance to have safe and affordable choices about where they can live and work. It supports equality. It connects us. It gives many a hope for a better future.”

Reflecting upon the tremendous regional collaboration that it took to get to this point, Livermore Mayor John Marchand commented, “Using the Measure BB funds for Valley Link brings us one step closer to keeping the promise that was made to Tri-Valley voters in 1962 and again in 2014. That is the promise of frequent, convenient rail transit through the Tri-Valley with connections to BART and the rest of the Bay Area.”

With this action by the ACTC, Valley Link has now identified $708 million in funding for building the rail project. This represents almost 30 percent of the of [sic] the [sic] estimated project cost. Valley Link Executive Director Michael Tree noted, “This $400 million allocation and the other local funds identified for Valley Link will go a long way in helping us leverage state and federal funds for the project.”

Phase 1 of the proposed Valley Link project includes seven stations along 42 miles of track, connecting the existing Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station to the proposed ACE [Altamont Corridor Express] North Lathrop Station. A second phase would extend service to Stockton. Trains would be scheduled to allow for convenient transfers to BART. The first Valley Link trains could be placed into service in 2028.

Valley Link will carry 33,000 passengers a day in 2040, reducing vehicle miles travelled by 99.3 million each year, and eliminating between 33,000 to 42,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) per year depending on the vehicle technology selected. Currently, the Regional Rail Authority is considering three technologies that include two zero emission technologies; battery/electric and hydrogen.

The passenger rail project will have a significant impact on the regional economy. A recent Economic Impact Study performed by PGH Wong found that during construction Valley Link will create 22,000 jobs with an economic impact on the region of $3.5 billion. Additionally, during service, Valley Link will create 400 jobs and an economic impact of $69 million per year.

Hydrogen-fueled train

Image above: Vivarail

Published by Alan Kandel

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