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The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority was established on January 1, 2018 through the enactment of Assembly Bill 758 with the mandate to plan and deliver cost-effective and responsive transit connectivity between the BART system in the Tri-Valley and the Altamont Commuter Express that meets the goals and objectives of the communities it will serve. On May 12, 2021, the Board certified a Final Environmental Impact Report and approved a Preferred Project – allowing the Authority to proceed with preliminary engineering work while seeking funding for the construction and implementation of the project at the earliest possible date.

 

PROJECT GOALS

  • Improve connectivity within the Northern California Megaregion: connecting housing, people, and jobs.

  • Rail connectivity between the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s rapid transit system and the Altamont Corridor Express commuter service.

  • Project implementation that is fast, cost-effective and responsive to the goals and objectives of the communities it will serve.

  • Be a model of sustainability in the design, construction and operation of the system.

  • Support the vision of the California State Rail Plan to connect the Northern California Megaregion to the State rail system.

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Valley Link is a new 42-mile, 7-station passenger rail project – that sits geographically at the center of one of the most economically significant megaregions in the world. It is a vital megaregional link that establishes rail connectivity between BART’s rapid transit system in the Bay Area’s Tri-Valley and the ACE commuter service in Northern San Joaquin County – linking nearly 500 miles of commuter and intercity rail with more than 130 stations in the Northern California Megaregion. Phase 2 of the Valley Link project would extend the rail line to Stockton. Valley Link has been developed in partnership with its 15-member agencies to be responsive to the goals and objectives of the communities it will serve and meets an urgent need to:

Connect Housing, People and Jobs

  • Connects the Megaregion’s workforce to affordable housing. More than 97,900 Bay Area workers living in San Joaquin County commute daily through the Altamont in their cars.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 32,220 to 42,650 metric tons by 2040.

Serve Disadvantaged and Low-Income Communities and Households

  • Promotes equity by serving four stations within areas designated as disadvantaged or within or near low-income communities in Northern San Joaquin County.

Create New Jobs and Promote Economic Recovery

  • Provides an estimated 22,000 jobs during construction.  When operational will support 400 jobs per year with labor income of over $19 million per year and $69 million in business sales annually.

 

Valley Link will connect the existing Dublin/Pleasanton Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station in Alameda County to the approved Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) North Lathrop Station in San Joaquin County. It will use existing transportation corridors: the existing Interstate (I-) 580 corridor (11.7 miles) in the Tri-Valley; the Alameda County Transportation Corridor right-of-way (ROW) through the Altamont Pass (14.5 miles); and the existing Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Corridor (16.1 miles) in Northern San Joaquin County.

 

 

The project includes the construction and operation of seven stations, listed from west to east:

  • Dublin/Pleasanton (BART Intermodal)

  • Isabel (Livermore)

  • Southfront Road Station (Livermore)

  • Mountain House

  • Downtown Tracy Station (Tracy)

  • River Islands Station (Lathrop)

  • North Lathrop Station (ACE Intermodal)

The Preferred includes the Tracy Operation and Maintenance Facility (OMF) in the City of Tracy.

 

Initial Operating Segments: Full project implementation is subject to available funding and design considerations. As such, two Initial Operating Segments (IOS) are also under consideration: one limited to the establishment of initial service between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station and the proposed Southfront Road Station; and one limited to the establishment of initial service between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station and the proposed Mountain House Station. This phased approach to construction will allow service at the earliest possible date based on funding availability. The project has been designed to accommodate implementation of one or both of the potential IOSs.

 

Vehicles: The Authority adopted a Sustainability Policy (December 2018) with an overarching goal to be a model of sustainability in the design, construction, and operation of the Valley Link Project and includes specific strategies to achieve this goal. The preferred rolling stock choice, based on this policy guidance, will be net zero vehicles operated on renewable energy from its own stored and created source. The choice of rolling stock will be finalized in preliminary engineering and depend on multiple factors, including the availability of the technology in the marketplace and system performance criteria (including transit over the Altamont Pass). Hydrogen powered vehicles have been identified as being highly-effective in meeting Board Sustainability Policy guidance.

 

Service Characteristics: Valley Link will provide all day bi-directional service on weekdays and weekends. In 2040, the Proposed Project would facilitate peak period service at 12-minute headways across the full Valley Link route (meeting every BART train at the Dublin/Pleasanton Station). Initial operations would include peak period service at 24-minute headways across the full Valley Link route (meeting every other BART train at the Dublin/Pleasanton Station) and twice the frequency (12-minute headways) within the Tri-Valley area (service across the full Valley Link route would remain at 24-minute headways).

 

Transit-Oriented Development: Policy To support the regional goals of both San Joaquin County and the San Francisco Bay Area (Bay Area), the Board adopted a transit-oriented development (TOD) policy (December 11, 2019) that identifies key policy objectives and strategies to:

  • Establish corridor-level thresholds of 2,200 housing units around transit stations along the Valley Link corridor.

  • Develop local station area plans, in conjunction with local communities, that address future land use, station access needs, circulation improvements, pedestrian-friendly design, and other key features of TOD. The TOD Policy outlines policy guidelines for both corridor-level thresholds and station area plans.

A TOD plan has been completed by the City of Livermore for the Isabel Station and others are planned or underway for the Southfront Road, Downtown Tracy and River Islands Stations.

 

PROJECT PARTNERS

Board of Directors: The 15-member Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the cities of Dublin, Lathrop, Livermore, Manteca, Pleasanton, Stockton, Tracy, Danville, San Ramon, and the Mountain House Community Services District; the counties of Alameda and San Joaquin; and the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) and the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC).

 

State, Regional & Private Sector Partners: CalSTA, Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the San Joaquin Council of Governments and the Alameda County Transportation Commission and Caltrans are also project partners. The Authority is also working with private sector leadership including the Bay Area Council, San Joaquin Partnership, Innovation Tri-Valley and Chambers of Commerce throughout the project service area.

 

Equitable Access: The Board has adopted policies and programs to ensure that all planning and decision-making for the project encourages public engagement and ensures a meaningful level of participation from disadvantaged communities and low- income communities and households.

Valley Link Alignment Map