By Elizabeth Joy
Rumors of the BART extension to Livermore have been discussed for many years and the plan is finally underway. Las Positas College, known for its own expansion and growth over the years, will benefit from the additions, as the new station will be within walking distance to the college.
A proposal to broaden the BART rail line between I-580 and the existing Dublin/Pleasanton station was put on display Feb. 27 at a public meeting at the Robert Livermore Community Center.
According to Bob Vinn, assistant city engineer and project manager for the local Bart project, LPC is excited about the prospect of bringing BART to Isabel avenue thanks to it’s promise for connection to their facilities. He claims the project will provide train rides to the campus’ administration offices, including the Chabot campus, which is beneficial to the many students who split their time between the two campuses.
Vinn encouraged students voice their opinions at the upcoming meetings regarding the plans, tentatively scheduled for March 8, April 12 and May 24 to let the BART board know what they would like to see developed in this plan.
The BART rail line will be extended 5.5 miles to a new station in the vicinity of the Isabel Avenue interchange according to this proposal. This extension will create connections with key activity centers in Livermore and inter-regional rail service. Other improvements to the local bus system will also be developed.
The proposal will provide an alternative to traffic congestion on I-580 corridor, one of the busiest in the state. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants and expand opportunities for transit-oriented development, according to the Bay Area Rapid Transit report.
For those interested in more details on this project, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) was released for public review on July 31, 2017. Following the public review this last week; the BART Board of Directors will select either the proposed project (conventional BART service) or one of the alternatives as the preferred transit mode for an extension to Livermore. BART anticipates making this decision in the spring 2018.
Once this decision is made, the next step will be a federal-level Environmental Impact Statement prepared to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) prior to completing the final engineering and before construction work can begin. The projected opening of the completed extension and new BART station is in 2026.