Pleasanton is home currently to more than 56,000 employees at more than 4,000 companies. In addition to companies already in Pleasanton expanding their operations, more than 9,700 business licenses were issued in 2016. And Pleasanton's business community contributes close to 60% of the city's revenues, according to Mayor Jerry Thorne.
The thriving source of revenue does have a price, though, and drivers on Interstates 580 or 680 during rush hour can attest to that.
More business and more employees equal more traffic.
"I know this doesn't come as a surprise to any of you, but the 580, 680 and State Route 84 corridors continue to be some of the busiest in the Bay Area," Thorne said during his State of the City address Wednesday. "Solving our transportation and traffic issues requires a regional approach and a long-term view."
On Monday, Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) said in an interview with the Weekly that traffic congestion is the No. 1 complaint he hears from residents in his district.
"The commute times have just gotten out of control here," Swalwell said. "It's beyond, I think, what any person can take who wants to be with their family."
Extending BART to the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) is a high priority for federal, state and local elected officials.
It's Swalwell's highest priority in the Tri-Valley as he works "to keep the promise we made to the voters when I and others worked to pass Measure BB, which is to pay for BART to go to Livermore," he said. "But I think there's an opportunity to close the gap between Dublin and Pleasanton and the Altamont where the ACE comes through."
That extension, according to Swalwell, could take 30,000 to 35,000 cars off the roads each day, providing vital traffic congestion relief.
Swalwell said he is working on the issue with local Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon), Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Modesto) and other San Joaquin County leaders.
During Wednesday's address, Mayor Thorne also spoke of a working group formed to keep the BART to ACE project moving forward.
BART to ACE is one of several infrastructure improvements that will help ease traffic congestion here. According to Thorne, the express lanes on I-580, which opened last year, have significantly reduced travel time in the 11 miles it covers -- to the point that 580 has been removed from the top 10 worst commutes in the Bay Area. Perhaps more express toll lanes are in the offing, including on I-680 north of Pleasanton.
Here, the need for more parking at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station is painfully apparent, and Swalwell mentioned this and a redesign of the 580/680 interchange as other methods to ease traffic woes.
Swalwell is working in Washington to get federal funding for BART to ACE; Thorne and the other Tri-Valley mayors recently attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 85th winter meeting and met with legislators and federal agencies in Washington.
One key component of the plan to improve infrastructure, ease traffic congestion and continue to keep the Tri-Valley on track is cooperation. This will determine success or failure.
Whether it be building relationships with leaders in Washington or reaching across county borders to construct strategies, as Swalwell said, "It's going to take a bipartisan, bi-county approach."