The cities of Antioch and Pittsburg are developing Ridership Development Plans (RDPs) for their communities. These Plans focus on area around proposed eBART stations. The goal is to ensure that there will be about 6,600 housing units and 10,100 riders per day along the entire corridor. Throughout this process, BART will continue to support the cities of Pittsburg and Antioch in their efforts to create RDPs appropriate to their area. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Contra Costa Transportation Authority have allocated funds to help the communities with their RDPs.
What is the Proposed Project?
BART is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the eBART project. The Proposed Project evaluated in the EIR will consist of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) technology running 10 miles in the median of State Route 4 from a transfer platform near the existing Pittsburg/Bay Point station to a terminus station in Antioch. In addition to the transfer station, new stations are proposed near Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg and near Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch. BART expects to issue the Draft EIR for public review and comment in summer 2008.
Why is the eBART corridor being considered in phases?
The Proposed Project represents the first phase of a plan to extend service into East County. In 2001 BART proposed to evaluate a 21-mile extension from the Pittsburg/Bay Point station to Byron/Discovery Bay as a single project. However, as of fall 2007, funding sources for this longer extension had not been identified. Without funding sources available, the project would have to be delayed indefinitely. As most residents of East Contra Costa County know, waiting to improve traffic congestion is not a preferable option. The Proposed Project provides a cost-effective solution that allows for BART to begin construction soon after the EIR is completed and approved, thus bringing much-needed transit service to a portion of East Contra Costa County much sooner.
The Proposed Project allows BART to work in conjunction with Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s (CCTA) State Route 4 widening construction. As CCTA widens the freeway, BART can simultaneously construct eBART in the median. Not only does this mean that the construction time of these two projects will be consolidated, resulting in the least possible inconvenience for commuters, it also means that eBART will be ready to begin service soon after the freeway widening is complete.
What could come in later phases of eBART?
Future phases could extend beyond Antioch to Oakley, Brentwood, Byron/Discovery Bay and beyond, depending on the availability of funding.
How are the cities of Pittsburg and Antioch involved in the Proposed Project?
Antioch and Pittsburg play vital roles in the effort to bring eBART to the residents of East Contra Costa County. Each city has an elected official participating in the eBART Partnership Policy Advisory Committee (ePPAC) alongside representatives from the Oakley, Brentwood, Contra Costa County and BART Board members. The ePPAC committee provides a critical link between BART efforts and the needs of the cities.
Also, both Antioch and Pittsburg are developing Ridership Development Plans (RDPs) for the future proposed station sites and the City of Pittsburg is prospectively funding their proposed Railroad Avenue station. A Ridership Development Plan is a comprehensive station area plan created by the city to analyze the ½ mile area surrounding the proposed station considering land use and access. Through these efforts the cities will create plans that ensure that a future BART station will provide maximum benefits for both BART and the communities.
What other technologies are being considered for Phase I of eBART?
Conventional BART (utilizing the same BART vehicles and electric third rail technology as the rest of the BART system), Electric Light Rail Vehicles, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) are being considered in the EIR as alternatives to the Proposed DMU Project.
What’s the earliest the Proposed Project could be in service?
If approved, the Proposed Project would be closely integrated with the widening of Highway 4. BART & CCTA are working closely together to keep these two projects on schedule and to bring traffic relief to East Contra Costa County residents by as early as 2015.
Why does the Proposed Project utilize Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) vehicles rather than conventional BART?
Differences in construction cost and timing are the two major reasons that BART is evaluating DMU technology as the Proposed Project, and considering conventional BART technology as an alternative.
In the 2001/02 feasibility study, DMU technology was ranked as the preferred option for the eBART corridor, in part because conventional BART requires more costly engineering, vehicles, stations and systems, with a project cost three times that of the DMU solution. The conventional BART rail would also take longer to construct, creating a longer wait for East Contra Costa Country residents.
If, after the EIR process is complete, the DMU technologies are chosen, the project will be designed in a way that would not preclude a change to conventional BART trains in the future. For this reason, alignment and structures will be designed not to preclude accommodating conventional BART.
In 1999 BART developed its “System Expansion Policy,” which provides guidelines for evaluating extensions of the BART system. One goal of the System Expansion Policy is to “generate new riders on a cost effective basis.” Although BART expects to generate a great number of new riders from the eBART extension, the anticipated ridership is not high enough to warrant conventional BART vehicles.
Are Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) vehicles an environmentally sound option?
Public transit in general is an essential tool in reducing greenhouse gases and producing a more sustainable environment. The Proposed Project would increase the opportunity for people to use public transit, reducing auto use, and thereby reducing air pollution.
The propulsion technology recommended for the Proposed Project is clean diesel, which meets all applicable U.S. and California air quality standards.
Below are a few facts about why the Proposed Project is an environmentally sustainable choice for East Contra Costa County:
- A DMU train would carry as many people as 250 cars, greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- The proposed DMU trains would use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel, which is much cleaner than the diesel fuel in use today.
- The Proposed Project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the reductions already achieved by BART today.
- The Proposed Project would reduce auto travel by 340,000 miles every day.
Some people have asked about the viability of electric light rail vehicles. This is one of the alternatives that will be addressed in the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is expected to be available in the summer of 2008.
How would the transfer station work?
The Proposed Project includes a transfer platform that would be built approximately 2,750 feet east of the current Pittsburg/Bay Point BART Station. The DMU trains would be timed to meet each incoming BART train. Passengers would walk across the transfer platform, approximately 28 feet, to a waiting train. Please click here to view a simulation of how the transfer station would work.
Will more parking be made available?
BART is aware that many people commute via car to the BART stations. Parking would be available at the new Pittsburg and Antioch stations. The Proposed Project includes approximately 300 parking spaces near the Railroad Avenue Station in Pittsburg and approximately 1,000 parking spaces at the Hillcrest Avenue Station in Antioch. These parking spaces would be available on opening day. The Hillcrest Avenue Station includes a plan for an additional 1,600 parking spaces by 2030.
What if my question is not answered here?
We regret that we cannot address every question at this time, but we are hard at work on the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Please look for the draft EIR to be released in the summer of 2008. At that time, BART will mail notices announcing a public comment period and the regular mail and email addresses where comments may be submitted. BART will also post the regular and email addresses for submitting comments here on the eBART website, www.ebartproject.org. If you wish your comments to be considered as part of the EIR process, please submit them during the public comment period. To be on our email list and receive notices and occasional eBART updates, please sign up here.
Traffic Congestion Relief
“Please do all that can be done to expedite eBART to Antioch and beyond. I have lived in Antioch for 12 years and a trip that used to take an hour now takes two, due to the congestion on Highway 4 and the lack of parking at the Pittsburg station. I love living in the East Bay, but getting out of it in the morning and back into it in the evening may force me to move soon.”
– Antioch Resident
Congestion – Environment – Pleasant Travel
“As a resident of Antioch I welcome the eBART project. Here are the following issues it will address:
TRAFFIC CONGESTION: Once eBART is available lot of folks will start taking the BART. Folks now have to drive all the way to Bay point to take the BART. This will reduce the traffic conjunction on Highway 4.
ENVIRONMENT: With less vehicles on the road this will in turn reduce pollution.
PLEASANT TRAVEL: We who work in San Francisco will have a pleasant commute. We will be able to reach home earlier.
I am eagerly waiting for the quick completion of the eBART project.”
– Antioch Resident
Times Savings and Shopping Benefits
“I have been on the train/subway systems of New York, Chicago, Japan, Hong Kong, and Sydney, Australia. In stark contrast to the American systems, the others have plenty of shopping at the stations. Japan has many little stores (about a 1/4 the size of a 7-11) crammed full of useful things. They also directly connect to grocery stores and shopping malls. One does not need a car in Japan because of the convenience provided by the public transportation system and the amount of stores within and connected to their train stations.”
– Antioch Resident
Anticipating BART and Traffic Improvements
“My wife and I bought a house in Antioch a little over 3 years ago anticipating that BART would have been extended into Antioch by the time that we moved into our home. Taking BART in Pittsburg is great but it would be even better if it was in Antioch. In the morning at 5:00 AM, it takes us 30 – 45 minutes to travel 10 miles on Highway 4 to get to BART. That is an awful commute that should only take 10 – 15 minutes. If they extend BART to Antioch it would only take us probably 5 minutes from our house to get to BART.
Every morning when we arrive at the BART station the trains are full with commuters – the demand is there. The extension of BART into Antioch will also lesson traffic on Highway 4, which is the worst in the Bay Area. The demand is there. eBART also will help the environment to get people to use mass transit instead of sitting in their cars for hours trying to get home. Please help us by extending BART into Antioch.”
– Antioch Resident
Car Traffic Miles
“I anticipate the development and construction of an efficient commuter rail service for Eastern Contra Costa. I have just returned from Belgium and the UK and had an opportunity to observe rail systems that serve both motorists and non-motorists in reducing car traffic miles.
Below are factors I think important in the project:
Stations and the system must serve cyclists. Caltrain in the South Bay has been effective in providing for cyclist transport.
Access to stations, either by bus or a regional trail network must be provided. These paths must be maintained, kept clear from glass and other debris, just as expected by motorists on city streets, highways and freeways. They must be safe and made a priority by local and transportation police.”
– Antioch Resident
“We need for BART to seriously consider the extension of BART into Eastern Contra Costa. The proposed project to add 23 miles to the system from Pittsburg/Bay Point through Oakley and Brentwood to Byron would be just what is needed for folks who live in these areas, not to mention those who have to drive from Tracy or Stockton just to get BART everyday.
As great as it is to have Highway 4 expanded, it still does not alleviate the gridlock traffic most have to endure to get to work. BART extension into Eastern Contra Costa is desperately needed at this point.”
– Brentwood Resident
Traffic Adds Pollution – BART the Solution
“I agree with this plan! In fact I am quite excited! The thing is, BART actually helps keep the environment clean. With a lot of people moving into Brentwood, chances are that many work in the cities near San Francisco and there is always a lot of traffic in the morning just to drive from Brentwood to the Pittsburg station. Not only do these diligently working people use up more gas, such unnecessary traffic adds pollution to the environment.
Thus, by extending the BART route all the way to Brentwood, we could keep our environment cleaner. Not to mention saving gas. With the BART extension, we could also clear up some traffic on Highway 4, which is a plus to people who really need to commute by car. And BART itself really is convenient especially if people want to take a little excursion to cities such as Berkeley or San Francisco. Thanks for considering my comment.”
– Brentwood Resident
Welcoming BART into Community
“My husband and I reside very close to the proposed station at Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg. We are very pleased to welcome BART into our local community and believe it will greatly benefit both the BART system and our residents. I will be working in Oakland and my husband will be in San Leandro and Richmond. We look forward to being able to take advantage of the BART station when it is ready.”
– Pittsburg Resident
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