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New Rail to Connect East Bay & Central Valley

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: January 19, 2021

Designs are underway to seamlessly connect the Bay Area and Central Valley by transit, and local bikeway improvements are in the mix. Valley Link is a proposed new 42-mile, 7-station passenger rail project, and Bike East Bay is at the table: making sure BART connections are easy, bus service continues, and that bike access to stations is seamless. Contact Advocacy Director Dave Campbell to give your feedback and get involved. 

While COVID-19 has changed many commute patterns, Valley Link is meant to address the tens of thousands of workers who have been displaced from the Bay Area into the Central Valley. In 2018, 93,000 individuals commuted from the Central Valley to Alameda County. Valley Link is projected to carry 12,700 daily passengers between the existing Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station to an Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) North Lathrop Station in San Joaquin County.

Valley Link also presents an immediate opportunity to improve bikeways on many local streets. Bike East Bay has been discussing with Livermore staff their designs for repaving First Street this year, between Portola Avenue and Las Positas Road. We are pushing for wider bike lanes and safer intersection designs. This improved bikeway would lead to the alternative Valley Link station at Southfront. Later this year, the city of Livermore will update their general plan: the long-term framework for future growth and development. The general plan will include, at a high level, the streets designated as bikeways to proposed new transit stations, and the new streets needed to be built for station access.

We have two concerns at this point to continue discussing with Valley Link. Currently, the design of the transfer station at East Dublin BART requires passengers to get off BART, go down to the concourse level and enter a new station for Valley Link and go back up to a Valley Link platform. We much prefer the more seamless design of the Pittsburg BART transfer to eBART. Additionally, we want to see a more thorough analysis of express bus alternatives, particularly interim express bus improvements. There is potential to expand current express bus service, and design for an interim expanded bus service to handle commute demand until Valley Link trains are operational. Take a deep dive on station location plans in chapter 2 of the draft environmental impact report for this project.

We are working with the San Joaquin County Bicycle Coalition and Valley Link on this effort. Contact Bike East Bay Advocacy Director Dave Campbell to give your feedback and get involved. 

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