The inaugural meeting of the newly formed Altamont Regional Rail Working Group was held on Wednesday, February 10th at the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority offices to discuss potential BART and ACE Rail linkages to better connect the Bay Area-Central Valley region. Focus from the Working Group centered on the decades of planning for BART to Livermore and the need to have BART go to Greenville Road in Livermore to make the inter-regional connection with the San Joaquin Valley via the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE rail service).
Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who was elected Chair of the Working Group, expressed his thoughts, “I’m very happy to be sitting with my colleagues—the Mayors that represent the Tri-Valley cities, elected officials from the City of Tracy and the County of San Joaquin, Directors from BART and ACE, and honored representatives of our congressional delegation. The time for waiting and being patient for BART to come to Livermore to connect with ACE is over. As elected officials I think it is important that we figure out a way to deliver this project.”
The BART to ACE project is planned for construction along the I-580 corridor, with the first phase of the project extending BART as far as Isabel Avenue at a cost of $1.2 billion. The Working Group estimates conclude that each year of delay in the project cost taxpayers approximately $30 million.
“We all understand that there is a lack of balance between jobs and housing in the region,” commented Mayor John Marchand of the City of Livermore. “The result is increasing travel and congestion on I-580 to connect housing in the San Joaquin Valley with jobs in the Bay Area. What’s important to know is that there is now an organization that understands and is planning for this important mega-region corridor.”
Members of the Working Group include Supervisor Scott Haggerty of the County of Alameda, Supervisor and Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Moses Zapien, Mayor David Haubert from the City of Dublin, Mayor Jerry Thorne from the City of Pleasanton, Mayor John Marchand from the City of Livermore, Councilmember Veronica Vargas from the City of Tracy, ACE Board Member Vince Hernandez (Councilmember from City of Manteca), BART Board Member John McPartland, and LAVTA Board Member Steven Spedowfski (Councilmember from City of Livermore).
The Working Group will meet bi-monthly in an effort to plan for the most efficient, cost effective delivery of BART to ACE, with near future meetings focusing on the development of the Working Group’s goals and objectives, to include examples of successful methods of rail project delivery from around the nation.
For more information on the Altamont Regional Rail Working Group please contact Michael Tree, Executive Director for the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority at 925-455-7564.