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Press Release

Mayor Pro Tem Veronica Vargas of Tracy and Congressman Denham Meet to Discuss Megaregional Train to Connect ACE and BART

Posted: May 31, 2018
Location: Tracy, Calif.

Tracy Mayor Pro Tem Veronica Vargas, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, met yesterday with Congressman Jeff Denham to discuss the planned Northern California Megaregion rail connection of ACE and BART. The initial discussion focused on the highly congested I-580 corridor where more than 82,000 commuters from the Central Valley travel each day to the Bay Area, up 27% from 2013 to 2016.

“Residents in San Joaquin County are frustrated with the commute,” said Mayor Pro Tem Vargas. “In the city of Tracy, more than 50% of the working population have a long commute. Its negative impacts are real, both for families and their quality of life, the economy and our environment.”

In discussing the congestion, Mayor Pro Tem Vargas and Congressman Denham reviewed plans from the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority to deliver a rail project that would initially travel from the River Islands development to Tracy/Mountain House before travelling through the Altamont Corridor and onto the I-580 median to connect with BART.  Additional phases of the project could include stops in Stockton and Lathrop/Manteca before connecting with the initial phase of the project. ACE passengers could transfer to this line at several stations along the way.

“Providing connectivity to Valley citizens is critical. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, I will fight to expand infrastructure for hard working Valley families,” commented Congressman Denham.

The preliminary travel time estimates of the train show the project is competitive with current travel conditions on the I-580.  However, with the I-580 congestion expected to increase substantially in the near future, the travel time of the train will become increasingly advantageous.

Mayor Pro Tem Vargas and Congressman Denham considered the planning timeline of the train and discussed funding options for the $1.6 billion first phase from River Islands to BART. Of note was the recent decision by BART to defer a BART extension to Livermore to the new Regional Rail Authority, a decision that will bring more than $500 million to the megaregional connection. Other funding options discussed that could be available to the project include future local funding packages, state funding with SB1, private-public partnership opportunities and federal funding.

“Policy makers on both sides of the Altamont Corridor recognize the importance of this megaregional connection between ACE and BART,” Mayor Pro Tem Vargas said. “It’s great to have the support and leadership of Congressman Denham to help deliver this project.”

For additional information on the Tri-Valley Regional Rail Authority and the planned megaregional rail connection between ACE and BART go to www.acetobart.org

About the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority

The Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority was created by the California Legislature in 2017 with the passage of Assembly Bill 758, co-authored by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon and Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton. The authority’s primary purpose is to plan, develop and deliver cost-effective transit connectivity between the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's (BART) rapid transit system and the Altamont Corridor Express’ (ACE) commuter rail service. The Authority is to provide a project feasibility report to the public on the plans for the development and implementation of transit connectivity no later than July 1, 2019.

The Authority is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by its 15 member agencies, including: the Town of Danville, the cities of San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, Tracy, Manteca, Lathrop and Stockton, the Mountain House Community Services District, the counties of Alameda and San Joaquin, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE). The following page contains a list of the appointed board members.

Additional information on the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, including the agenda and staff reports is available at www.acetobart.org


Tri-Valley San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Member Agencies and Board Appointees

 Member Agency                             Appointee

 

Town of Danville                             Councilmember Karen Stepper

City of San Ramon                         Vice Mayor Philip G. O’Loane

City of Dublin                                  Mayor David Haubert

City of Pleasanton                          Mayor Jerry Thorne

City of Livermore                            Mayor John Marchand

City of Tracy                                   Mayor Pro Tem Veronica Vargas (Vice Chair)

City of Manteca                               Vice Mayor Debby Moorhead

City of Lathrop                                 Councilmember Paul Akinjo

City of Stockton                               Councilmember Susan Lofthus

Mountain House                              Director Bernice Tingle

County of Alameda                         Supervisor Scott Haggerty (Chair)

County of San Joaquin                   Supervisor Bob Elliott

LAVTA                                             Boardmember Steven Spedowfski

BART                                              Boardmember John McPartland

ACE                                                Boardmember Leo Zuber

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