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Baker's bipartisan bill to push BART-ACE connection is moving ahead

Uploaded: Jun 29, 2017
Momentum is building in the Legislature for a bill co-authored by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-Dublin) that would formally establish a Tri-Valley-San Joaquin County rail authority to drive the connection between BART and the ACE trains in Livermore.
The bill, AB 758, was amended in the Assembly and then passed without any opposition. It was a bipartisan bill from the start with Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) joining Baker. Catharine was pleased to build a wide range of support of the measure, which she hopes will become a model for inter-regional cooperation.
The original bill would have taken all BART monies dedicated to the Livermore extension and transferred them to the rail authority along with the responsibility to build the connection.
The revised bill removes those teeth, but does establish the authority and require it to submit an annual report on the progress of the connection between ACE and BART in the Tri-Valley. Both systems already operate in the Livermore Valley, but there’s no effective link.
The link that would be ideal is for BART to extend to a station with the ACE line in eastern Livermore near Greenville Road. The BART extension will not help Silicon Valley commuters, but would be huge for people headed for jobs in the Tri-Valley employment centers. They could seamlessly transfer from ACE to BART and stay off Interstate 580.
The 14-member board has been carefully designed to include representatives from the two counties, six cities, both rail agencies, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (Wheels) as well as business groups Innovation Tri-Valley, the East Bay Leadership Council and the San Joaquin Partnership.
Baker was particularly enthusiastic about the formal inclusion of the business community.
She anticipates that the bill will be taken up by Senate committees in July and plans for additional amendments to add “building blocks” back into the measure. She hopes to see the same broad range of support in the Senate and will be ready to “listen and figure out how to get to yes” if any unforeseen issues surface.
Her bill has plenty of support from the Tri-Valley elected officials who are frustrated by the lack of progress by BART. With only one representative on the nine-member board, pushing for this extension is an uphill battle despite the traffic congestion on I-580 through the valley.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Robert, a resident of another community,
on Jun 29, 2017 at 11:19 am

BART shouldn't spend a dime unless the extension goes to downtown Livermore.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Jun 30, 2017 at 10:22 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Imagine if the money being thrown at the California High Speed Rail project was redirected to mass transit projects that would really benefit large populations centers in the state. Until we have a new governor this will not change.

The BART board has little interest in helping Central Valley commuters since no one out there votes for board members. Thus, the Baker plan makes much more sense.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Daniel B, a resident of another community,
on Jul 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Very good stuff. I did not know about the change Re: Authority not being able to control the monies for the Livermore extension! That was what the Authority was going to be able to do, yes?!

Anyhow. The biggest question I have is this:

How will the projects that Dan Leavitt (ACE Forward) is working on be integrated together? As in not just having ACE meet BART in Livermore, but what about a station for NmMountain House and downtown Tracy and then all of the other stops up to Lathrop/Manteca? One other question: is there any chance High Speed Rail will offer to help eith a connection from Manteca to the proposed stop in Stockton at Cabral Street? THAT right there should be the ultimate goal. Look. If Nor Cal can get SF-San Jose to happen, then why not Stockton-Merced? Actually to make things as efficient as possible from Dublin to Stockton should be the initial goal. Hell why not just have ACE meet in Dublin?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by jenifer, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Jul 14, 2017 at 10:11 pm

jenifer is a registered user.

This is wonderful information and also gets good knowledge and ideas from this article. A bad news was that this week a judge ruled that BART had to pay a $1.3 million fine for its failure to follow rules on hazardous materials at its various sites in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties. BART has taken exceptionally good care of its overpaid employees and forgotten its mission to serve taxpaying commuters.
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Daniel Brenner, a resident of another community,
on Jul 14, 2017 at 10:22 pm

Long story short but AB 758 got pulled from the Legislature so that the Ammendments to it could be strengthened (maybe get the "teeth" back that Baker was referring to?) and so that all the stakeholders could be/can be on the same page. Baker/Eggman will resubmit it to the Legislature next year. Pseudo bummer because I was really counting on the Authority being formed by the end of the year and then having a project like what ACE Forward lined up so that things could get rolling for Livermore. GRRR.


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