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BART approves partnership to explore Livermore extension


Last week, Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) board voted to form a partnership and research the possibility of extending service to Livermore, Calif.

The board directed the agency’s staff to advance the proposed Livermore project’s first phase to the next level of development, including environmental review, conceptual engineering and ridership development plans, BART officials said in a prepared statement.

In addition, staff members should initiate a project partnership to seek external funding to advance the project with no impact on BART capital needs, they said.

“We’re hoping to form a closer partnership with the city of Livermore and the Alameda County Transportation Commission as we study this critical link to the Tri-Valley,” said BART President John McPartland.

The next steps include completing a project level Environmental Impact Report, which will include a detailed look at factors such as the impact of alternative alignments and transportation modes. No BART funds will be used to fund the EIR.

The project would extend BART five miles to a transfer station and express bus service. Preliminary estimates indicate daily ridership would total about 21,000 new riders in 2035. Preliminary cost estimates of the project range from $800 million to $1.2 billion.

An extension to Livermore initially was identified in the 1957 Rail Plan, the first blueprint for the BART system. In 2007, the San Francisco Regional Rail Plan affirmed a Livermore extension as a vital link needed to connect to the regional rail network.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/13/2012