Alameda County, with the support of state and local officials, is working toward constructing a new parking garage at the eastern Dublin-Pleasanton BART station to help alleviate crowded conditions and a parking pass waitlist of cars that would stretch nearly nine miles.
State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker this week announced a $20 million state grant for the project, which aims to bring a multi-story garage with 650-700 parking spots on county land to the east side of the seven-story BART garage on the Dublin side that is usually filled well before 8 a.m.
The new collaborative effort, which aims to break ground on construction this fall, was forged over recent months after BART leaders balked at the opportunity -- and $20 million in state funding -- to build the long-planned second garage on BART property at the end-of-the-line station.
"The Dublin-Pleasanton BART station is in dire need of additional parking, and this structure will bring necessary, cost-effective relief to our constituents," Baker (R-San Ramon) said in a statement Monday.
"The current waitlist for parking at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station has over 3,000 people on it, and the existing multi-story structure is full by 7:30 a.m., forcing commuters to drive to work or crowd local city streets and retail lots," the Tri-Valley representative added.
"This project will allow more of our constituents to use BART and take more cars off our local roads and freeways," said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who represents Dublin. "Thank you to Assemblywoman Baker for the much-needed funding and for working with my office and the county to develop this innovative project."
Estimated to cost $31 million, the new garage would be designed with short-term parking need in mind but also leave the door open for use in a future without cars.
The proposal calls for a convertible structure, which means it could be redesigned for housing or office space if the parking space isn't needed down the line.
"This structure will have more spaces, and cost less money than what BART ever considered doing, and will be a state-of the-art structure that can be used for commercial purposes or housing should the need for parking someday subside," Baker said. "This is better than any option BART ever could have provided."
The BART station, which features the seven-story garage and street-level parking on the Dublin side and a parking lot on the Pleasanton side, is a popular draw for commuters throughout the region, as the final blue line stop that also serves Livermore, San Ramon and San Joaquin County residents.
The Dublin Transit Village's original plans called for a second parking structure on the west side of the station to offer 540 more spaces, but BART hasn't moved forward on that garage.
Baker said she helped secure $20 million for the BART garage after the agency said funding was the major hangup, but board officials turned down the money last summer.
That inspired Baker and Haggerty to work together on creating an alternative plan, which included the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) submitting a grant proposal to the state's Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.
Baker helped secure $20 million for the successful grant -- money LAVTA will contribute to the project as a partner agency, with the county serving as the lead agency for construction.
"Commuters have been waiting anxiously for this parking garage so that they can get off congested freeways to access BART," LAVTA executive director Michael Tree said, calling the project "a big win for local commuters."
"Parking for vanpools and electric vehicles, as well as improved circulation for inter-regional bus systems bringing commuters to and from BART are just a few of the features that will ensure this project will have a positive impact on Bay Area congestion," Tree added.
The grant application, written by Alameda County General Services Agency staff, set the tentative groundbreaking date for October.
Haggerty plans to work with local and regional agencies to fund the remaining $10 million-plus needed to complete the project. It remains unclear who will maintain ownership of the garage once it opens.
"This BART-promised parking structure is an example of how, when obstacles are put in front of you, just keep working on solutions until the job is done," Baker said. "I am grateful to the city of Dublin, Supervisor Scott Haggerty and Alameda County for collaborating with my office to make this project a reality."