We need to make sure BART's Livermore extension doesn't hurt the rest of the system

Joël Ramos Headshot

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 Noah Berger

The BART Board did a good thing on Thursday, February 9th. While passing a motion to start an alternatives analysis for the Livermore project, they also took several steps to protect the overall system and to ensure the Livermore analysis considers a wide range of alternatives. This was a big step in the right direction and may contribute to making it less likely that a Livermore project does serious damage to the BART system. But there are still many more steps to go.

As the process moves forward, we need to ensure that BART is the lead agency for the environmental review of the Livermore project (see TransForm's follow-up letter to BART). We will also need to make sure BART actually does move forward with other steps envisioned in the Board's final motion: an investment analysis to to demonstrate BART can maintain its State of Good Repair, and to evaluate the effectiveness of other capacity and infill projects, not just the Livermore project.

The final motion (see our transcription or the BART Board minutes - motion starts at bottom of page 2) addresses all of the main points in TransForm's Feb 8th letter to the BART Board. Many thanks to the BART Directors who spoke, in some cases passionately, about the need to protect the existing system. Directors revised the motion significantly during the meeting. Directors Radulovich and Raburn both distributed suggested language. Director Keller provided great historical context about the need to consider all alternatives, not be wedded to BART's traditional technology, and along with Director Franklin encouraged the Livermore analysis to consider the whole corridor. Director Murray voiced support for the car replacement program and knowing BART can maintain its State of Good Repair. BART President McPartland, who made the final motion, accepted the proposed amendments and recognized the importance of keeping BART's existing system in good shape while also trying to move forward with a connection to Livermore.

For background on BART's State of Good Repair needs and the Livermore project, see the Save BART! page on TransForm's website.

What's next:

  • Contact your BART Director to say thank you and urge that BART should be the lead agency for the environmental review of the Livermore project.  We need to keep BART fast, reliable, and affordable, not promise more and more extensions we can't afford.

Posted February 23, 2012, by Jeff Hobson.

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TransForum is the blog of TransForm, California's leading transportation advocate. For more about our work, including ways you can take action and contribute, visit TransFormCA.org.