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BART to Focus on Livermore Extension on the I-580 Median to Isabel Avenue

March 5, 2014

At the February 27, 2014 BART Board meeting, the Board directed BART staff to focus environmental studies for the BART extension to Livermore on the I-580 median alignment to Isabel Avenue. This clarifies discussion from the December 5, 2013 BART Board meeting, where some Board members had asked that a possible route to Downtown Livermore be included in the environmental analysis.

Mayor John Marchand addressed members of the Board asking that BART not study the BART to Downtown Livermore option.  “The Livermore City Council has listened to the concerns of our community about BART to Downtown Livermore, and has taken appropriate actions to amend the General Plan to support a BART extension to Isabel along I-580, and not to Downtown Livermore. It would take a vote of the people to change this policy, and that is extremely unlikely because 80% of our community opposes BART to Downtown Livermore.”

Once a review of the environmental studies is complete, the BART Board can elect to approve the project and begin the funding process. Acting City Manager Troy Brown addressed how the inclusion of the Livermore to Downtown option in the environmental studies could impact support for the extension and augmentation of Measure B, Alameda County’s sales tax for transportation. Proposed for the ballot this November, if approved, Measure B funding would provide $400 million toward the BART extension to Livermore, a down payment which would bring total funding for the project up to about 50% of the estimated $1.2 billion needed to complete the extension, and would help leverage other federal, state, and regional funding for the program. “We need to concentrate on delivering BART to Isabel, consistent with the Measure B Transportation Expenditure Plan,” said Mr. Brown. “We shouldn’t confuse the voters about where this BART extension to Livermore is going. The project is to extend BART to Isabel.”

As required by California law, the environmental studies will include an analysis of potentially feasible alternatives to extending BART to Isabel Avenue. Proposed alternatives include Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) rail technology, Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) rail technology, express bus, and enhanced bus/bus rapid transit. All rail options would be within the I-580 median and terminate at Isabel Avenue, with bus service connecting further east to various locations in Livermore. The express bus and enhanced bus/bus rapid transit alternatives would provide service from various locations in Livermore to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.

The draft environmental studies for the BART extension to Livermore are expected to be complete by mid-2015.