Bay Area Rapid Transit expansion

Bay Area Rapid Transit expansion

Throughout the history of the Bay Area Rapid Transit, better known as BART, there have been plans to extend service to other areas.



Warm Springs extension

map of the planned BART extension to Warm Springs

An 8.7 km (5.4 mi) extension of BART south to the Warm Springs District in South Fremont. The Warm Springs extension will bring BART south to the Santa Clara County line which is a prerequisite for the extension to San Jose.

This extension received a green light from the federal government when the Federal Transit Administration issued a Record of Decision on October 24, 2006.[1] The action enabled BART to begin purchasing the necessary right-of-way for the project and receive state-administered federal funding to finance the project.

In January 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that $91 million in funding had been diverted from a similar project to link the peninsula and East Bay with commuter rail in order to begin construction on the Warm Springs Extension.[2]

On February 10, 2009, BART requested bids for the first segment of the Warm Springs Extension, a subway under Fremont Central Park and Lake Elizabeth.[3] The joint venture of Shimmick Construction Co. and Skanska USA Civil West California District Inc. won with a bid of $136 million which was 45 percent below the agencies' estimate of $249 million. On August 24, 2009, BART issued a "Notice to Proceed" to the contractors with construction beginning in Fall 2009. The contract for the above ground elements of the extension went to bid in late 2009 and construction began in spring 2010[4].

BART plans to have the extension open in 2014.[5]

On June 28, 2011, BART directors and the City of Fremont reached an agreement to construct an infill station in the Irvington District. The Irvington BART Station is scheduled to open in 2015.[6]

San Jose extension

map of the planned BART extension to San Jose

The planned San Jose extension will continue the Warm Springs Extension to the Berryessa neighborhood station in San José, linking the BART system to the Santa Clara VTA light rail.[7] Construction is scheduled to start in 2012 and the extension is scheduled to open in 2018.[8]

Since Santa Clara County is not among the member counties of the BART District (having opted out of the district at its inception, like neighboring San Mateo county), VTA is responsible for building the extension within Santa Clara County. VTA allocated initial funds for constructing BART using the proceeds from a sales tax referendum which was passed by Santa Clara County voters in 2000. In December 2002, VTA purchased a freight railroad corridor from Union Pacific Railroad which will serve as much of the necessary right-of-way for both the Warm Springs and San Jose extensions for $80 million.[9] In 2004, the Federal Transit Administration decided to wait to fund the project, citing worries that BART did not have enough money to operate the extension.[10] In addition, the San Jose extension project received a "not recommended" rating from the Federal Transit Administration placing the federal portion of the funding in jeopardy because of concerns about operation and maintenance funding.[11] To address these concerns and help secure federal funding, Santa Clara County voters were presented with 2008 Measure B, a 1/8-cent sales tax raise, in the 2008 presidential primary election.[12] Projections by an independent consultant recommended by the Federal Transit Administration predicted that the 1/8-cent sales tax would more than cover operation and maintenance of the planned extension.[13] In initial vote counting from election day and well into the counting of absentee and provisional ballots, the measure was too close to call but was on the side of failing. On November 17, the measure flipped from failing to passing in the vote count update, with the required 66.67% of voters approving the tax increase, the very minimum for the tax measure to pass.[14] On November 21, the result was announced that Measure B passed with 66.78% voter approval.[15][16]

The planned route will continue south from the Warm Springs station in Fremont. There are plans for one "optional" station at Calaveras Blvd/SR 237 in downtown Milpitas; this station is not currently planned to be built but remains an option as a future infill station. The next station in Milpitas will be at Montague Expressway, co-located with the existing VTA Montague light rail station. The end of the extended line will be in San Jose, where there will be an elevated station at Berryessa Road at the current site of the San Jose Flea Market. BART tail tracks would end at US 101 between the interchanges at Santa Clara and Julian streets.

San Jose subway extension

The original plan was for the extension to continue into downtown San Jose via subway. However, in February 2009, projections of lower-than-expected sales-tax receipts from the funding measures forced the VTA to scale back the extension, ending it at the Berryessa station and delaying tunneling under downtown San Jose to a future phase of construction. The originally-planned extension from Fremont to Santa Clara would cost $6.1 billion, but the VTA estimates an extension to Berryessa would only cost $2.1 billion.[17]

The plans for the downtown subway start with a portal before crossing under US 101. The Alum Rock subway station would be on North 28th Street between Julian Avenue and Santa Clara Street. The Downtown San Jose station would be underneath Santa Clara Street spanning the block from 3rd Street to Market Street. (The Downtown San Jose station was combined in 2005 from earlier plans for separate subway stations at Civic Plaza/San Jose State University and Market Street.)[18] The Diridon/Arena station would be between HP Pavilion at San Jose and Diridon Station, which currently serves Amtrak, Caltrain, ACE and VTA Light Rail. The BART subway would then turn north, following the Caltrain route, and exit to the surface at another portal after crossing under I-880. The Santa Clara BART station would be co-located at the existing Santa Clara Caltrain station. Separate construction plans by San Jose International Airport would bring a people-mover train to the Santa Clara BART/Caltrain/ACE/Amtrak station.

For the subway segment in San Jose, VTA plans to use a tunnel boring machine for most of the length in order to reduce disruptions to downtown during construction. Only the station locations would have cut and cover construction.[19] This is different from how BART subways and stations were built in San Francisco and Oakland, which used the cut and cover method. The construction of the cut and cover stations in downtown San Jose would still cause major albeit temporary disruption, including closing several blocks of Santa Clara Street and severing the VTA light rail line at that street. The extension to downtown San Jose may open in 2025.[20]

Oakland Airport Connector

The Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) is planned as a people mover, replacing the existing AirBART bus shuttle between the Coliseum station and the terminal buildings at Oakland International Airport. This connection would physically resemble other off-airport connections between airport people movers and transit trains, such as the AirTrain services at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Unlike AirTrain, the Oakland Airport Connector would be operated by BART, integrated into the BART fare system with standard BART ticket gates located at the entrance to the station at the Airport end of the people mover.[21]

When built, the Oakland Airport Connector will replace AirBART buses. The connector’s automated people movers (APMs) will be electrically powered and operate on a fixed, elevated guideway. The APMs will arrive at the Coliseum BART station every four-and-one-half minutes and are designed to transport travelers to the airport in about eight minutes with an on-time performance of more than 99 percent.

In early 2010, the project lost $70 million of federal stimulus funding because the Metropolitan Transportation Commission had "equity concerns" related to the planned high fares on the connector.[22]

By September 2010, all necessary Federal and state funding for the OAC had been established, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 20.[23]

Design, utility relocation, and construction of the $484 million project is expected to be completed in early 2014.[24][25][26]


The eBART expansion plan calls for diesel multiple unit (DMU) train service to be implemented from the existing Pittsburg/Bay Point station. The first phase of the expansion will proceed east along the Highway 4 corridor to the city of Antioch with a Hillcrest Avenue station. The plan includes an option for a station at Railroad Avenue station in Pittsburg that will be built by that city. Future expansions in this direction could connect the eBART service to Oakley, Brentwood, Byron, and beyond to Tracy and Stockton. The DMU system was chosen as a less-expensive alternative to the existing third-rail BART design and because it would enable further extensions more easily. Funding for this expansion was approved in April 2009.[27] On October 14, 2010, BART issued a press release announcing that the agency had awarded a $26 million contract to West Bay Builders, of Novato, California, "to build the transfer platform and make some of the necessary rail improvements to begin extending the line to a terminus station at Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch."[28]

Livermore extension/tBART: I-580/Tri-Valley Corridor

This extension of either conventional BART or DMU BART service would go from Dublin/Pleasanton station east to Livermore. It could possibly continue over the Altamont Pass into Tracy and the Central Valley along I-580 and/or go north through Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo to the existing Walnut Creek station via the I-680 corridor.

BART has set up a special website to track the BART to Livermore extension plans.[29] A preferred alignment was selected July 1, 2010 and has the support of the Livermore City Council. This alignment would involve the construction of a station in downtown Livermore, and a second station on Vasco Road near the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Both proposed stations would provide nearby connections to Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) service.[30] This comes after a petition to extend BART to Livermore was circulated by Linda Jeffery Sailors, the former mayor of Dublin, California.[31]

The extension of conventional BART rail to Tracy is considered unlikely, as San Joaquin County, in which Tracy is located, is not part of the three district counties and does not pay into the regional BART tax. The extension of third-rail BART, which would require exclusive and grade-separated rights-of-way over such a long distance, would be substantially more expensive. With conventional rail, existing trackage can be used, and incremental upgrades (such as grade separations at selected intersections, overhead electrification, signaling improvements, utilities relocation, etc.) are possible as funding dollars become available, but choosing BART would require a full build-out of the system initially, along with comprehensive funding.

An existing diesel commuter rail line, the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) currently operates through Livermore. A free shuttle transfers passengers between the ACE Pleasanton station and the BART Dublin/Pleasanton station, linking the two systems.[32][33][34] The proposed alignment for the BART extension would place new BART stations next to the existing Livermore and Vasco Road ACE stations, allowing for easy transfers and providing increased access to the northern Bay Area to San Joaquin Valley commuters.

Hercules extension/wBART: I-80/West Contra Costa Corridor

A corridor study of extending the service north from the Richmond Station is underway with numerous options being studied.[35] One would create commuter rail service utilizing lightweight diesel multiple units (DMU) to operate on existing or new tracks. In order to operate on existing tracks with freight service, however, heavier-weight DMU vehicles adhering to Federal Railroad Administration regulations would need to be used. This option is known as wBART. A second option would create a commuter rail service running from the BART terminus along the Amtrak line to Hercules and possibly Fairfield and Vacaville in Solano County, similar to the Caltrain or ACE train services. Yet another option would extend conventional BART to a North Richmond station near the Richmond train yard at 13th Street/Rumrill Avenue and Market Street, then continue along the existing Union Pacific rail line and the Richmond Parkway expressway to Interstate 80. The service would have a Hilltop station and then continue along I-80 to State Route 4 in Hercules, near Hercules Transit Center. Service would continue along I-80 through Vallejo until the I-505 interchange in Vacaville. Finally, a proposed option would stretch BART westward across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge into central Marin County. It has been established as a high priority to extend BART to the Hilltop area.[36] The alignment connecting to Hercules via San Pablo is supported by the Friends of El Cerrito del Norte, a community organization that promotes transit in the west county area.[37]

The Friends of El Cerrito del Norte is a community group dedicated to improving the quality of life around the del Norte station and for residents of El Cerrito and Richmond. They propose BART be extended north to Hercules to ameliorate traffic.[38]

Infill stations

The West Dublin/Pleasanton station is the only infill station currently in the BART system.

BART planners have studied and/or planned infill stations for at least three sites within the system. Infill stations are stations constructed on existing line segments between two existing stations. Construction costs for a planned 30th Street Mission station in San Francisco, between the existing 24th Street Mission and Glen Park stations, are estimated at approximately $500 million.[39] A proposal for a Jack London Square station in Oakland was rejected as being incompatible with existing track geometry. A one-station stub line to Jack London Square at the foot of Broadway and the use of other transit modes also were studied.[40]


  1. ^ "Feds green light BART's Warm Springs Extension project". BART. 2006-11-02. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  2. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (2009-01-15). "BART Warm Springs extension gets funding". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  3. ^ Artz, Matthew (2009-02-10). "BART preparing to start Warm Springs extension". Fremont Argus / (ANG Newspapers). Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  4. ^ Warm Springs Extension Overview accessed 2011-04-17
  5. ^ Construction to begin on subway section of Fremont BART extension, BART, 2009-08-24,, retrieved 2011-06-28 
  6. ^ {{cite | title = Officials Greenlight BART's Warm Spring Station Extension | publisher = [[KTVU] | date = 2011-06-24 | url = | accessdate = 2011-06-28 }}
  7. ^ Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). "Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor/BART to Silicon Valley". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  8. ^ Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal (June 25, 2010). "VTA's BART extension gets environmental OK". Retrieved September 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal (December 2002). "Union Pacific closes land and track sale to VTA". Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "History of BART to the South Bay". San Jose Mercury News. January 8, 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Measure B reaches two-thirds approval in late vote counting". San Jose Mercury News. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  15. ^ "BART backers pop open champagne, celebrate vision for San Jose's Grand Central Station". San Jose Mercury News. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  16. ^ "November 4 Presidential Primary Election SUMMARY RESULTS - MEASURE B". Santa Clara County Government. November 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  17. ^ "BART to Berryessa: Sales tax projections force VTA to scale back plans". San Jose Mercury News. 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  18. ^ Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) (2005-06-22). "Minutes of Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor BART Extension Policy Advisory Board Meeting". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  19. ^ Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) (2002-05-14). "Downtown San Jose Subway Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  20. ^ ABC KGO-TV San Francisco (May 8, 2009). "South Bay BART initiatives move forward". Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Oakland Airport Connector". BART. September 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Oakland Airport Connector". BART. September 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "$479 Million “eBART” Project Will Extend Service 10 Miles". BART. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  28. ^ BART Press Release, October 14, 2010
  29. ^ "BART to Livermore EIR". Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  30. ^ "BART Board selects alignment for Livermore extension". Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  31. ^ "Bring BART to Livermore". Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  32. ^ "Pleasanton Station". Altamont Commuter Express. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  33. ^ "Wheels - Timetables - Route 54 - Pleasanaton Fairgrounds ACE Shuttle". Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  34. ^ "Wheels - Fares and Sales". Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  35. ^ (PDF) I-80/West Contra Costa Corridor. BART. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  36. ^ West Contra Costa Transit Advisory Council Action Plan Minutes
  37. ^ Traffic. Friends of El Cerrito del Norte. Troy McCormick. 03-06-2011.
  38. ^ Traffic. Friends of El Cerrito del Norte. Troy McCormick. 03-06-2011.
  39. ^ John T. Warren and Associates, Inc. (May 2003) (PDF). San Francisco County Planning: 30th Street Infill Station Study. BART. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  40. ^ "Alameda County Planning: Expansion Projects". BART. December 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 

External links

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